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ADOLF     HITLER 


MEIN  KAMPF 


Complete  and  Unabridged 
FULLY    ANNOTATED 


EDITORIAL  SPONSORS 
John  Chamberlain 
Sidney  B.  Fay 
John  Gunther 
Carlton  J.  H.  Hayes 
aham  Mutton 

in  Johnson 

iam  L  Langer 

Iter  Millis 

ul  de  Roussy  de  Sales 

oige  N.  Shuster 


REYNAL   A   HITCHCOCK 
1941  NEW 


COPYRIGHT,  IQ39.  BY  HOUGBTON  MIFFLIN  COMPANY 

ALL  RIGHTS  RESERVED  INCLUDING  THE  RIGHT  TO  REPRODUCE 
THIS  BOOK  OR  PARTS  THEREOF  IN  ANY  FORM 


COPYRIGHT,  Ip2S,  BY  VERLAG  FRZ.  EHER  NACHF.  G.m.D.H. 
COPYRIGHT,  Z927.  BY  VERLAG  FRZ.  EHER  NACHF.  G.m.b.H. 


This  Edition  is  published  by  ar- 
rangement with  Hough  ton  Mifflin 
Company,  Boston,  Massachusetts. 


NINETEENTH 


PRINTED  IN  THE  U.S.A. 


PUBLISHERS'  NOTE 


BOTH   the  international  situation   and  certain  pub- 
lishing exigencies  have  dictated  the  preparation  of 
this  book  at  a  far  higher  rate  of  speed  than  we  should 
have  liked.  We  wished  it  editorially  to  be,  and  we  believe 
it  is,  a  fine,  scholarly,  genuinely  definitive  edition  of  an 
enormously  important  book.  If  small  errors  have  crept  in, 
and  we  think  even  those  are  few  and  far  between,  they  are 
due  solely  to  the  pressure  of  time. 

We  cannot  possibly  thank  here  by  name  all  those  who 
have  assisted  in  the  task.  The  work  could  not  have  been 
possible  without  the  devoted  help  of  our  editorial  commit- 
tee, and  notably  Dr.  Alvin  Johnson,  who  has  been  a  tower 
of  strength  in  many  directions.  To  Mr.  George  N.  Shuster, 
who  has  labored  with  unwearying  effectiveness  night  and 
day  for  many  weeks,  our  debt  is  incalculable.  Mr.  Helmut 
Ripperger,  on  whom  a  heavy  burden  has  fallen,  and  various 
friends  and  helpers  at  the  New  School  for  Social  Research 
have  likewise  given  without  stint  of  their  time  and  energy 
to  the  translation.  Mr.  C.  H.  Hand,  Jr.,  will  not  like  to 
find  himself  thus  singled  out,  but  we  cannot  overlook  the 
tribute  we  owe  him  for  his  constant  effective  aid.  Two 
other  special  friends  of  the  enterprise  who  have  been  of 
enormous  help,  but  who  by  their  own  wish  shall  be  name- 
less, we  none  the  less  wish  here  to  thank  anonymously. 
Finally,  to  Houghton  MifHin  Company  we  wish  to  extend 
our  hearty  salutations.  We  should  never  ask  for  more  fair- 
minded  or  resourceful  collaborators  in  a  publishing  enter- 
prise. 

E.  R. 
C.  N.  H. 


INTRODUCTION 


THIS  is  an  accurate  translation  of  a  book  which  is 
likely  to  remain  the  most  important  political  tract  of 
our  time,  and  which  is  now  for  the  first  time  avail- 
able  in  complete  form  to  the  American  reader.  Until  now 
the  only  version  of  M ein  Kampf  in  English  has  been  a  con- 
densation of  the  complete  book,  published  in  1933,  con- 
taining less  than  half  of  the  total  text. 

The  Austrian  and  Czecho-Slovakian  crises  of  last  year, 
culminating  for  the  moment  in  the  pact  of  Munich,  have 
awakened  the  American  public  as  never  before  to  the 
seriousness  to  the  world  and  to  themselves  of  the  Nazi 
program,  and  consequently  to  the  possible  significance  of 
every  page  of  the  book  that  can  justly  be  regarded  as  the 
Nazi  gospel.  Here,  then,  in  its  entirety,  for  the  American 
people  to  read  and  to  judge  for  themselves,  is  the  work 
which  has  sold  in  Germany  by  the  millions,  and  which  is 
probably  the  best  written  evidence  of  the  character,  the 
mind,  and  the  spirit  of  Adolf  Hitler  and  his  'government. 

There  are  undoubtedly  passages  of  great  importance 
which  now  appear  in  English  for  the  first  time.  For  exam- 
ple, Chapter  V  of  the  condensed  version  left  out  the  whole 
of  what  Hitler  describes  as  his  wartime  reflections  on 
propaganda  and  on  methods  for  fighting  Marxism.  We 
have  marked  at  various  points  in  the  text  the  important 
new  material.  Furthermore,  any  abridgment  must  neces- 
sarily fail,  in  proportion  to  the  degree  of  its  condensa- 
tion, to  give  the  full  flavor  of  the  author's  mind.  Even 
the  repetitions  have  their  significance  in  conveying  a  sense 
of  the  character  behind  them.  Mein  Kampf  is,  above  all,  a 
book  of  feeling. 


vlii  INTRODUCTION 

All  this  is  in  no  sense  a  condemnation  of  the  abridgement 
prepared  by  E.  T.  S.  Dugdale  in  England  and  published 
under  the  title  My  Battle,  as  in  1933  it  seemed  most  un- 
likely that  any  large  American  public  would  care  to  read 
Mein  Kampf  as  a  whole,  and  for  its  time  and  purpose  it  was 
undoubtedly  adequate.  Since  then  the  whole  book  has  as- 
sumed a  more  urgent  character. 

The  translation  here  offered  is  from  the  first  German  edi- 
tion —  the  two  volumes  respectively  of  1925  and  1927, 
which  are  now  quite  difficult  to  obtain.  Continuous  refer- 
ence hks  been  made,  however,  to  later  editions,  and  any 
changes  of  significance  have  been  noted.  Such  changes  are 
not  as  extensive  as  popularly  supposed. 

The  reader  must  bear  in  mind  that  Hitler  is  no  artist  in 
literary  expression,  but  a  rough-and-ready  political  pam- 
phleteer often  indifferent  to  grammar  and  syntax  alike. 
Departures  from  normal  German  form  have  not  been  re- 
produced, since  no  purpose  would  be  served  thereby,  but 
where  the  demands  of  a  perfectly  smooth  English  style 
might  seem  to  conflict  with  exactness  of  meaning,  the 
original  German  forms  have  been  followed  as  literally  as 
possible.  We  believe  the  translation  cannot  be  successfully 
challenged. 

We  turn  to  our  decision  to  annotate  the  text.  Mein 
Kampf  is  frequently  a  difficult  book  for  the  American  reader 
to  understand.  Few  Americans  are,  in  the  very  nature  of 
things,  so  aware  of  the  German  historical  background  that 
they  can  surmise  without  help  what  the  author  is  discuss- 
ing. What,  for  example,  was  meant  by  'interest  slavery1? 
And  who  was  Leo  Schlageter?  In  making  annotations  of 
this  kind,  we  have  tried  to  adhere  to  a  middle  course,  as- 
suming some  familiarity  with  Nazi  history,  but  leaving  very 
recondite  information  for  scholars.  Notes  of  this  kind  are 
based  almost  exclusively  on  German  sources,  and  we  be- 
Ifeve  we  can  vouch  for  their  accuracy  and  objectivity. 


INTRODUCTION  1» 

Then,  too,  Mein  Kampf  is  a  propagandistic  essay  by  a 
violent  partisan.  As  such  it  often  warps  historical  truth  and 
sometimes  ignores  it  completely.  We  have,  therefore,  felt 
it  our  duty  to  accompany  the  text  with  factual  information 
which  constitutes  an  extensive  critique  of  the  original. 
No  American  would  like  to  assume  responsibility  for  giving 
the  public  a  text  which,  if  not  tested  in  the  light  of  diligent 
inquiry,  might  convey  the  impression  that  Hitler  was  writ- 
ing history  rather  than  propaganda.  It  is  more  probable, 
however,  that  we  shall  have  to  face  the  opposite  criticism 
—  that  we  have  been  too  impartial,  too  objective,  too  little 
concerned  with  rebuttal.  To  this  we  should  like  to  reply 
that  truth,  the  accurate  truth,  is  the  only  argument  which 
in  the  long  run  prevails.  One  may  talk  a  fact  out  of  exist- 
ence for  a  time,  but  it  somehow  survives.  We  are  prepared 
to  rest  our  case  as  editors  on  our  belief  in  that  ultimate 
triumph. 

One  point  in  particular  may  need  emphasis.  Large  por- 
tions of  Mrin  Kampf  are  devoted  to  the  question  of  race  as 
a  substructure  on  which  to  erect  an  anti-Semitic  policy. 
We  have  not  let  these  passages  go  unchallenged,  but  we 
have  also  not  felt  it  necessary  to  include  a  discussion  of  race 
of  our  own  invention.  The  greatest  anthropologists  of  the 
twentieth  century  are  agreed  that  'race'  is  a  practically 
meaningless  word.  All  one  can  legitimately  do,  therefore, 
is  to  challenge  statements  of  'race  history'  as  being  fig- 
ments of  the  imagination,  and  to  point  out  that  they  are  at 
bottom  more  or  less  subtle  ways  of  supporting  still  more  ab- 
solute and  violent  forms  of  nationalism  than  even  the  nine- 
teenth century  knew.  In  addition  we  have  made  specific 
objections  to  Hitler's  anti-Semitic  statements  where  they 
contradict  known  historical  facts. 

A  word  now  concerning  the  method  adopted  for  the  pre- 
sentation of  the  notes.  As  a  rule  we  have  put  information 
relative  to  the  sources  and  origins  of  National  Socialism 


*  INTRODUCTION 

into  the  first  volume,  reserving  for  the  second  volume  the 
history  of  Hitler's  rise  to  power  and  of  German  achievement 
since  that  time.  Departures  from  this  method  have  been 
made  when  a  given  point  seemed  explainable  in  no  other 
way.  This  arrangement  will  enable  the  reader,  should  he  so 
desire,  to  read  the  notes  independently  of  the  text  itself. 
Naturally  these  notes  are  not  designed  to  form  a  treatise  on 
Hitlerism,  but  if  they  were  read  together  with  the  books 
mentioned  by  name,  they  should  provide  a  fairly  adequate 
history  of  the  Third  Reich*  Most  of  the  notes  are  set  in 
close  proximity  to  the  passage  to  which  they  refer.  In  a 
few  instances,  however,  it  seemed  important  to  write  at 
greater  length,  so  that  the  material  appears  in  the  form  of 
an  appendix  to  the  chapter  in  question.  The  separation  be- 
tween text  and  commentary  is  clearly  indicated,  so  that  the 
reader  will  have  no  difficulty  on  that  score. 

In  conclusion,  what  should  one  expect  to  learn  from  Mein 
Kampf?  Read  with  a  clear  eye,  the  book  will  show  what 
manner  of  man  Der  Ftihrer  is  —  one  who  as  a  boy  had 
nothing  excepting  a  passionate  belief  that  Germany  must 
obtain  a  larger  place  in  the  sun  with  the  help  of  the  sword 
once  wielded  so  efficiently  by  Prussian  kings;  who  learned 
to  define  to  his  own  satisfaction  what  groups  wanted  this 
kind  of  Germany,  and  what  other  groups  were  indifferent 
or  opposed  to  that  ideal ;  who  after  the  War  gathered  round 
him  all  those  who  refused  to  concede  that  defeat  neces- 
sarily meant  the  end  of  German  expansion;  and  who, 
finally,  with  their  help,  got  control  of  the  government  and 
then  set  out  to  mobilize  the  whole  nation  for  a  new  advance. 

Before  the  War  he  lived  in  Austria  and  felt  that  the 
Habsburgs,  by  making  concessions  to  the  Slavic  groups  in 
their  empire,  were  putting  the  German  group  on  a  level 
with  others  and  therefore  lessening  its  willingness  to  dom- 
inate. Therefore,  he  wanted  the  German  group  to  get  rid 
of  the  Habsburgs  and  join  forces  with  the  greater  Prussian 


INTRODUCTION  id 

Germany.  After  the  War  he  felt  that  the  leaders  of  the  Re- 
public, by  seeking  to  bring  about  internal  reconciliation 
and  by  making  concessions  to  the  Allies,  were  doing  exactly 
what  the  old  Habsburgs  had  done,  excepting  that  this  time 
it  was  not  Austrian  Germany  but  the  holy  of  holies,  Prussia 
itself,  that  was  being  weakened.  To  those  who  said  that  it 
was  war  which  had  sapped  the  substance  of  Germany,  and 
that  another  war  would  end  European  civilization,  he  re- 
plied that  it  was  only  'eternal  peace'  which  destroyed  peo- 
ples and  that  neither  the  individual  nor  society  could  escape 
Nature's  decree  that  the  fittest  alone  survive. 

Yet  this  simple  philosophy  is  by  no  means  the  whole 
Hitler.  He  has  added  to  it  the  moving  force  which,  re- 
vealed both  in  his  struggle  for  power  and  in  his  use  of  that 
power  since  1933,  is  the  most  startling  phenomenon  of  our 
time.  Only  the  leaders  of  the  Mohammedan,  French,  and 
Russian  revolutions  have  aroused  a  comparable  driving 
power,  and  at  present  it  dominates  Europe.  The  forces  in 
opposition  have  lacked  the  clearness  of  plan,  the  unity  of 
motive,  the  certainty  of  conviction,  needed  to  make  their 
cause  prevail. 

The  engines  of  industry  now  spin  round  in  trepidation, 
and  the  engines  of  war  are  piled  giddily  in  higher  and 
higher  pyramids.  Already  in  Europe,  the  last  are  all  that 
really  count  —  the  others  work  to  create  an  illusion  and  to 
help  meet  the  staggering  costs.  There  is  no  stopping  them 
until  there  are  in  the  world  ideas  or  ideals  which  are  stronger 
than  that  contained  in  Mein  Kampf.  It  is  our  profound 
conviction  that  as  soon  as  enough  people  have  seen  through 
this  book,  lived  with  it  until  the  facts  they  behold  are  so 
startlingly  vivid  that  all  else  is  obscure  by  comparison,  the 
tide  will  begin  to  turn. 

We  have  all  of  us  the  deepest  regard  for  the  German  peo- 
ple. Some  of  us  have  given  a  good  deal  of  time  and  energy 
to  the  study  of  just  German  demands  and  to  the  fostering 


xii  INTRODUCTION 

of  better  understanding  of  the  German  tradition.  None  of 
us  has  abandoned  the  sincere  belief  that  Germany  is  des- 
tined to  be  a  great  and  cherished  member  of  the  family  of 
peoples.  So  we  have  elected  to  set  down  without  malice, 
yet  with  all  the  truth  we  can  muster,  the  record  as  we 
see  it. 

JOHN  CHAMBERLAIN 
SIDNEY  B.  FAY 
JOHN  GUNTHER 
CARLTON  J.  H.  HAYES 
GRAHAM  HUTTON 
ALVIN  JOHNSON 
t  WILLIAM  L.  LANGER 
WALTER  MILLIS 
R.  DE  ROUSSY  DE  SALES 
GEORGE  N.  SHUSTER 


DEDICATION 

ON  NOVEMBER  9,  1923,  at  12.30  in  the  afternoon,  in  front 
of  the  Feldherrnhalle  as  well  as  in  the  courtyard  of  the 
former  War  Ministry,  the  following  men,  steadfast  in  their 
belief  in  the  resurrection  of  their  people,  were  killed : 

ALFARTH,  Felix,  businessman,  b.  July  5,  1901 
BAURIEDL,  Andreas,  hatter,  b.  May  4,  1879 
CASELLA,  Theodor,  bank  employee,  b.  August  8, 1900 
EHRLICH,  Wilhelm,  bank  employee,  b.  August  19, 1894 
FAUST,  Martin,  bank  employee,  b.  January  27,  1901 
HECHENBERGER,  Anton,  locksmith,  b.  September  28,; 

1902 

KOERNER,  Oskar,  businessman,  b.  January  4,  1875 
KUHN,  Karl,  headwaiter,  b.  July  26,  1897 
LAFORCE,  Karl,  student  of  Engineering,  b.  October 

28,  1904 

NEUBAUER,  Kurt,  valet,  b.  March  27,  1899 
PAPE,  Claus  von,  businessman,  b.  August  16,  1904 
PFORDTEN,  Theodor  von  der,  County  Court  Council- 
lor, b.  May  14,  1873 
RICKMERS,    Johann,    retired    Cavalry    Captain,    b. 

May  7,  1881 
ScHEUBNER-RicHTER,  Max  Erwin  von,  Doctor  of 

Engineering,  b.  January  9,  1884 
STRANSKY,  Lorenz  Ritter  von,  Engineer,  b.  March 

14, 1889 
WOLF,  Wilhelm,  businessman,  b.  October  19,  1898 

So-called  national  authorities  denied  these  dead  heroes  a 
common  grave. 

Therefore  I  dedicate  to  them,  for  common  memory,  the 
first  volume  of  this  work,  as  the  blood  witnesses  of  which 
they  may  continue  to  serve  as  a  brilliant  example  for  the 
followers  of  our  movement. 

ADOLF  HITLER 

LANDSBBRG  ON  THE  LECH 
PRISON  OF  THE  FORTRESS 

October  16,  1924 


PREFACE 


ON  APRIL  I,  1924,  because  of  the  sentence  handed 
down  by  the  People's  Court  of  Munich,  I  had  to 
begin  that  day,  serving  my  term  in  the  fortress  at 
Landsberg  on  the  Lech. 

Thus,  after  years  of  uninterrupted  work,  I  was  afforded 
for  the  first  time  an  opportunity  to  embark  on  a  task 
insisted  upon  by  many  and  felt  to  be  serviceable  to  the 
movement  by  myself.  Therefore,  I  resolved  not  only  to 
set  forth,  in  two  volumes,  the  object  of  our  movement,  but 
also  to  draw  a  picture  of  its  development.  From  this  more 
can  be  learned  than  from  any  purely  doctrinary  treatise. 

That  also  gave  me  the  opportunity  to  describe  my  own 
development,  as  far  as  this  is  necessary  for  the  understand- 
ing of  the  first  as  well  as  the  second  volume,  and  which  may 
serve  to  destroy  the  evil  legends  created  about  my  person 
by  the  Jewish  press. 

With  this  work  I  do  not  address  myself  to  strangers,  but 
to  those  adherents  of  the  movement  who  belong  to  it  with 
their  hearts  and  whose  reason  now  seeks  a  more  intimate 
enlightenment.  I  know  that  one  is  able  to  win  people  far 
more  by  the  spoken  than  by  the  written  word,  and  that 
every  great  movement  on  this  globe  owes  its  rise  to  the 
great  speakers  and  not  to  the  great  writers. 

Nevertheless,  the  basic  elements  of  a  doctrine  must  be 
set  down  in  permanent  form  in  order  that  it  may  be  repre- 
sented in  the  same  way  and  in  unity.  In  this  connection 
these  two  volumes  should  serve  as  building  stones  which  I 
add  to  our  common  work. 

THE  AUTHOR 

LANDSBERG  ON  THE  LECH 
PRISON  OF  THB  FORTRESS 


CONTENTS 

Volume  I 

PUBLISHERS'  NOTE v 

INTRODUCTION vii 

DEDICATION xiii 

PREFACE xv 

Chapter  I 

AT  HOME 3 

The  Young  Ringleader  7 

Enthusiasm  for  War  8 

Drawing  Talent  IO 

Never  State  Official  12 

But  Painter  13 

The  Young  Nationalist  15 

The  German  Ostmark  15 

The  Fight  for  the  German  Nationality  16 

History  Lessons  1 8 

History  Favorite  Subject  2O 

The  Habsburgs'  Policy  of  Slavization  21 

The  Young  Wagnerian  23 

Father's  Death      '  24 

Mother's  Passing  Away  25 

Chapter  II 

YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  IN  VIENNA  ...  26 

An  Architect's  Ability  27 

Five  Years  of  Misery  29 

Th«  Genius  of  Youth  30 

Unsocial  Vienna  31 

The  Contrasts  32 

The  Unskilled  Worker  34 


xviil  CONTENTS 

The  Uncertainty  of  Making  a  Living  35 
The  Worker's  Fate  36 
The  Perpetual  Mirage  of  Hunger  37 
Unfortunate  Victims  of  Bad  Social  Conditions  37 
The  Nature  of  Social  Activity  39 
The  Lack  of  '  National  Pride '  41 
The  Rats  of  Political  Poisoning  42 
Martyrdom  of  the  Worker's  Child  43 
The  Presupposition  for  -  Nationalization '  44 
Arduous  Study  44 
The  Art  of  Reading                                                 46-49 
Social  Democracy  50 
First  Encounter  with  Social  Democrats                    5I~53 
The  Red  Terror  53 
The  Social  Democrat  Press  54 
The  Psyche  of  the  Masses  56 
Tactics  of  Marxism  58 
The  Victims  of  the  Red  Tempters  59 
The  Sins  of  the  Bourgeoisie  59 
The  Necessity  of  Union  Activity  60 
The  Struggle  for  Power  62 
Politization  of  the  Unions  63 
The  Threatening  Thundercloud  64 
The  Key  to  Social  Democracy  66 
The  Jewish  Question  66 
The  So-called  World  Press  68 
Criticism  of  Kaiser  Wilhelm  II  70 
The  Greatest  German  Mayor  72 
Is  This  Also  a  Jew?  73 
The  Zionists  74 
The  Spiritual  Pestilence  of  Jewry  76 
The  Cunning  of  the  'World  Press'  77 
The  Manager  of  Vice  78 
The  Jew  as  Leader  of  Social  Democracy                  78-~79 
Jewish  Dialectics  8 1 
The  Cosmopolite  Changes  into  a  Fanatical  Anti- 
Semite  83 
Marxism  and  Nature  84 


CONTENTS  xlx 

Chapter  III 

GENERAL  POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  FROM  MY  TIME 

IN  VIENNA 85 

The  Politician  86 

Political  Thinking  87 

Vienna's  Last  Rise  88 

Germanity  in  Austria  89 

Centrifugal  Forces  96 

The  Tragic  Guilt  of  the  Habsburge  93 

The  Revolution  of  1848  94 
The  Historical  Liquidation  of  the  Danube  Monarchy     94 

Parliamentarianism  95 

The  Soil  of  the  Marxist  World  Plague  99 

Lack  of  Responsibility  IOO 

The  Leader  and  the  Masses  IO2 

The  Incompetents  and  the  Babblers  IO2 

Hiding  Behind  the  Majority  103 

Lined  up  in  a  Queue  105 

The  Parliamentarian  Profiteers  106 

4 Public  Opinion'  108 

The  Machine  for  Educating  the  Masses  108 

The  Cuttlefish  I IO 

The  Will  of  the  Majority  1 12 

The  Intellectual  Demi-monde  1 14 

The  Gist  of  the  Matter  115 

Germanic  Democracy  1 1 6 

The  Collapsing  Dual  Monarchy  119 

The  Pan -German  Movement  I2O 

The  Dreams  of  the  Forefathers  121 

The  Rebellion  of  the  German- Austrians  121 

Human  Rights  Breaks  State  Rights  123 

The  Merit  of  the  Pan-Germans  in  Austria  124 
Schoenerer  and  Lueger                                             125-129 

Pacifism  of  the  German  Bourgeoisie  130 

The  Fight  Against  Parliamentarism  132 

Parliament  and  Peoples'  Assembly  133 

'Parliamentarians'  Instead  of  Leaders  135 


xx  CONTENTS 

The  Magic  of  the  Word  136 

The  Power  of  Speech  137 

Mistakes  of  the  Pan-German  Movement  138 

Religion  and  Politics  139 

The  Los-von-Rom  Movement  140-152 

Concentration  152 

The  Way  of  the  Christian  Social  Party  153 

A  Splash  of  Baptismal  Water  154 

The  Christian -Social  Sham  Anti-Semitism  156 

Pan-German  and  Christian-Social  158 

Rising  Aversion  Against  the  Habsburg  State  159 

The  Old  Mosaic  Picture  1 60 

The  School  of  my  Life  161-162 

Chapter  IV 

MUNICH 163 

Germany's  Wrong  Policy  of  Alliance  164 

The  Jugglery  of  the  Triple  Alliance  165 

The  Bearers  of  the  Idea  of  the  Alliance  1 66 

Insane  Attitude  167 

The  Four  Ways  of  German  Politics  169-179 

Pyramids  Standing  on  their  Points  180 

With  England  Against  Russia  183 

The  Dream  of  World-Peace  185 

With  Russia  Against  England  1 88 
4  Peaceful  Economic '  Conquest  —  The  Greatest 

Folly  1 88 
The  Englishman  as  Seen  by  the  German  Cartoonist    189 

The  Inner  Weakness  of  the  Triple  Alliance  190 
Ludendorff  on  the  Weakness  of  the  Triple  Alliance  192 
The  Jewish-Socialist  War-Agitators  Against  Russia  193 

The  Tempting  Legacy  193 

Warnings  from  German  Conservatives  194 

The  Nature  of  the  State  195-201 

Symptoms  of  Decay  201 

The  Years  of  Destruction  2OI 

Prattling  Quackery  203 


CONTENTS  xxi 

Chapter  V 

THB  WORLD  WAR 204 

The  Impending  Catastrophe  205 

The  Slav's  Greatest  Friend  is  Murdered  206 

Austria's  Ultimatum  206 

The  German  Nation's  Existence  or  Non-existence  207 

The  Meaning  of  the  Struggle  for  Freedom  210 

Joining  a  Bavarian  Regiment  212 

The  Baptism  of  Fire  213 

A  Monument  to  Immortality  216 

The  Parliamentarian  Prattlers  216 

Drops  of  Wormwood  in  the  General  Enthusiasm  217 

Misunderstood  Marxism  2l8 

What  Was  to  be  Done  Now?  220 

The  Use  of  Force  221 

Perseverance  222 

The  Attack  Against  the  View  of  Life  223 

The  Same  Rubbish  224 

The  Great  Gap  225 

Chapter  VI 

WAR  PROPAGANDA 227 

Propaganda  a  Means  228 

The  Purpose  of  Propaganda  229 

Propaganda  Only  for  the  Masses  230 
The  Task  of  Propaganda                                     231-232 

The  Psychology  of  Propaganda  233 

The  Consequence  of  Half  Measures  236 

German  Mania  of  Objectivity  237 

Pacifistic  Dishwater  238 

Propaganda  for  the  Masses  239 

The  Enemy's  Propaganda  240 


CONTENTS 

Chapter  VII 

THE  REVOLUTION 243 

The  Enemy's  First  Leaflets  245 

Lamenting  Letters  from  Home  246 

The  Poison  on  the  Front  246 

Wounded  247 

Boasting  of  One's  Own  Cowardice  248 

The  Duty-Shirkers  249 

The  Most  Ingenious  Trick  of  the  Jew  252 
The  Ammunition  Strike  —  The  Greatest  Villainy       253 

Russia's  Collapse  256-257 

The  'German '  Revolution  Awaited  Its  Entry  258 

The  Result  of  the  Ammunition  Strike  258 

The  Front  and  the  Political  Rascals  260 

Increase  of  the  Decay  262 

The  Younger  Reinforcements  Fail  264 

Poisoned  by  Mustard  Gas  264 

'Republic'  266 

In  Vain  all  the  Sacrifices  267 

Wretched  and  Miserable  Criminals!  268 

Scoundrels  Are  Without  Honor  269 

Chapter  VIII 

BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  .     .  .     .277 

Social  Revolutionary  Party  280-281 

Gottfried  Feder  282 

The  Task  of  the  Program-Maker  283 

Program-Maker  and  Politician  284 

The  Marathon  Runners  of  History  286 

Breaking  of  the  Tyranny  of  Interest  287 

The  '  Instruction  Officer '  289-290 


CONTENTS  xxlii 

Chapter  IX 

THB  'GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY' 291 

'My  Political  Awakening*  296 
The  Board  Meeting  in  the  'Alte  Rosenbad9         297-298 

The  So-called  '  Intelligentsia '  300 

The  Seventh  Member  301 

Chapter  X 

THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE 302 

Premonitory  Symptoms  of  Collapse  3O3~~3°4 

The  Great  Lie  306 

The  Culprits  of  the  Collapse  307 

Do  Nations  Perish  by  Lost  Wars?  308 

Among  the  Germans  Every  Third  Man  a  Traitor  311 

The  Great  Masters  of  Lying  313 

Diseases  of  National  Bodies  314 

The  Signs  of  Decay  315 

The  Idol  of  Mammon  316 

Labor  as  the  Object  of  Speculation  319 
Half  Measures  —  One  of  the  Most  Evil  Symptoms 

of  Decay  322 

The  Gravediggers  of  the  Monarchy  323 

The  Meaning  of  the  Monarchy  324 

The  Cowards  of  1918  326 

Cowardice  Towards  Responsibility  327 

Three  Groups  of  Readers  328 

The  Pretended  'Freedom  of  the  Press*  330 

Mass  Poisoning  of  the  Nation  330 

Tactics  of  the  Jewish  Press  331 

The  Result  of  Our  Semi- Education  334 

The  '  Decent '  Press  335 

Syphilis  336 

The  Miserable  Products  of  Financial  Expediency  337 

The  '  Defining  of  Attitude '  338 


CONTENTS 

The  Sin  Against  the  Blood  and  the  Degradation  of 

the  Race  339 
The  Task  of  the  Nation  341 
Prostitution  —  A  Disgrace  to  Mankind  342 
Marriage  Not  an  End  in  Itself  343 
Education  of  Youth  345~346 
Premature  and  Prematurely  Old  348 
One  of  the  Most  Colossal  Tasks  349 
The  'Protective  Paragraph*  350 
The  Energy  for  the  Fight  for  Health  351 
The  Bolshevism  of  Art  352 
The  Decay  of  the  Theater  355 
The  Tainting  of  the  Great  Past  356 
Meaning  and  Purpose  of  Revolutions  358 
Intellectual  Preparation  for  Political  Bolshevism  359 
'Inner  Experience*  360 
'Human  Settlements'  360 
Monuments  of  the  Community  362 
Department  Store  and  Hotel  —  Characteristic  Ex- 
pression of  Culture  363 
The  Religious  Situation  364 
Organic  State  Laws  and  Dogmas  366 
Political  Abuse  of  Religion  367 
Without  Political  Aims  368 
The  Failure  of  Parliamentarism  369 
Half-hearted  Solutions  370 
The  Lie  of  the  German  '  Militarism '  374 
The 'Idea  of  Risk'  376 
The  Parliamentarian  Head,  the  Misfortune  of  the 

Navy  377 

Villains,  Scoundrels,  Rascals,  and  Criminals  378 

The  German  Advantages  380 

Parade  and  Public  Kitchen  381 

The  Stability  of  the  State  Authority  382 

The  Greatest  Factor  of  Value  —  The  Army  383 

The  Greatest  School  of  the  German  Nation  384 

The  Incomparable  Body  of  Officials  386 

The  State  Authority  387 

The  Ultimate  Cause  of  the  Collapse  388 


CONTENTS  xxv 

Chapter  XI 

NATION  AND  RACE 389 

The  Race  390-391 

The  Result  of  All  Race-crossing  392 

Man  and  Idea  394 

Race  and  Culture  396 

Life  is  a  Struggle  397 

Founders  of  Culture  398 

The  Mirror  of  the  Past  400 

The  Ingenious  Race  402 
The  Aryan  is  the  Bearer  of  Cultural  Development  404 

The  Loss  of  the  Purity  of  the  Blood  406 

The  Aryan's  Will  to  Sacrifice  Himself  407 

Purest  Idealism  —  Deepest  Knowledge  41 1 

The  Aryan  and  the  Jew  412 

The  'Clever'  Jew  412 

Jewry's  Instinct  of  Self-Preservation  414 

Judaism's  Sham  Culture  416 

The  Jewish  Ape  417 

The  Parasite  419 

The  First  Great  Lie  421 

The  Jewish  Religion  422 

Protocols  of  the  Wise  Men  of  Zion  423 

The  Development  of  Judaism  425 

The  Final  Goal  of  Judaism  435 

The  '  Factory  Worker '  436 

Employer  and  Employee  438 

The  Tactics  of  Judaism  440 

The  Nucleus  of  the  'Marxist*  View  of  Life  441 
The  Organization  of  the  Marxist  World  Doctrine  443 
The  Central  Organization  of  International  World 

Cheating  447 

Dictatorship  of  the  Proletariat  449 

The  Great,  Final  Revolution  450 

Bastardized  Nations  452 

The  Sham  Prosperity  of  the  Old  Reich  453 

A  Germanic  State  of  the  German  Nation  457 


xx*  CONTENTS 


Chapter  XII 


THE  FIRST  PERIOD  IN  THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF  THE  NA- 
TIONAL SOCIALIST  GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY       456 

A  People  Tom  in  Two  Parts  457 

The  Lacking  Will  for  Self -Preservation  459 

The  Winning  of  the  Broad  Masses  461 

The  Weak  Momentum  462 

The  Best  Property  of  the  Nation  463 

The  Nationalization  of  the  Masses  464 

The  Demands  for  This  465 

The  Smashing  of  Parliamentarianism  479 

The  Ingenious  Idea  481 
The  Organization  of  the  National  Socialist  Movement  482 

Fanaticism  486 

The  Honorary  Scar  488 

Personality  Cannot  be  Substituted  488 

The  Eternal  Hands  489 

The  Speech  Evening  490 

The  First  Meeting  491 

The  First  Success  492 

Fight  Against  the  Red  Terror  494 

The  Second  Meeting  495 

The  Shaping  of  the  Young  Movement  496 

German  Folkish  Wandering  Scholars  498 

Folkish  Comedians  499 

'Folkish'  501 

Spiritual  Marches  Against  Berlin  502 

The  '  Spiritual  Weapon '  503 

Folkish  Moths  504 

The  First  Great  Mass  Meeting  505 

Fraternization  Between  Marxism  and  Center  507 

Pfchner  and  Frick  ,                   5°8 

The  Foundations  of  the  Coming  State  5IO 

The  Victory  of  the  First  Great  Demonstration  512 

The  Coming  Rise  515 

POSTER  APPENDIX  517 


CONTENTS  xxvii 

Velum*  II 

Chapter  I 

VIEW  OF  LIFE  AND  PARTY 563 

Bourgeois  'Program  Committees'  564 

From  the  Life  of  a  'People's  Representative'  565 

Marxism  and  Democratic  Principle  $68 

View  of  Life  Against  View  of  Life  570 

The  Conception  '  Folkish '  573 

From  Religious  Feeling  to  Apodictic  Belief  575 

From  'Folkish '  Feeling  to  Political  Creed  576 

From  Creed  to  Community  of  Struggle  57^ 

Marxism  Against  Race  and  Personality  579 

Folkish  Attitude  Towards  Race  and  Personality  579 

The  Challenge  of  the  Free  Play  of  Forces  581 

Condensation  in  the  Party  582 

Crystallization  of  a  Political  Creed  583 

Chapter  II 

THB  STATE 584 

Three  Reigning  Conceptions  of  the  State  585-587 

False  Notion  of  '  Germanization '  588 

Only  Land  Can  Be  Germanized  591 

The  State  No  End  in  Itself  592 

Cultural  Level  Conditioned  by  Race  593 

National  Socialist  Conception  of  the  State  594 

Viewpoints  for  Judging  the  State  596 

Consequences  of  Our  Racial  Dismemberment  598 

Mission  of  the  German  People  600 

Task  of  the  German  State  6oi 

World  History  is  Made  by  Minorities  603 

The  Bastard  Must  Succumb  604 

Natural  Process  of  Regeneration  of  the  Race  605 

Danger  of  Race-Mixing  606 


xxviil  CONTENTS 

'Folkish '  State  and  Race  Hygiene  608 

Race-pure  Border  Colonies  6lO 

Call  to  German  Youth  6ll 

The  Bourgeoisie's  Lack  of  Energy  6l2 

Healthy  Body  —  Healthy  Spirit  614 

Educational  Maxims  of  the  '  Folkish '  State  615 

The  Value  of  Sports  616 

Suggestive  Force  of  Self -Confidence  618 

Suggestive  Force  of  United  Action  618 
Control  Between  School  Age  and  Military  Service 

Age  619 

The  Army  as  Final  and  Highest  School  620 

Character  Formation  621 

Education  in  Discretion  622 

Cultivation  of  Will  Power  and  Determination  623 

Fostering  Readiness  for  Responsibility  625 

Principles  of  Scientific  Schooling  626 

No  Overburdening  of  the  Brain  626 

Principles  of  Language  Instruction  627 

Principles  of  History  Instruction  628 

General  Training  —  Professional  Training  630 

Value  of  Humanistic  Training  631 

Current  'Patriotic*  Education  632 

Inspiring  Force  of  Great  Models  633 

Awakening  National  Pride  633 

Fear  of  Chauvinism  is  Impotence  636 

Inculcation  of  a  Racial  Sense  636 

Human  Selection  637 

Capability  and  Learning  638 

Training  Prodigies  640 

State  Selection  of  the  Qualified  640 

The  Catholic  Church's  Link  with  the  People  643 

Appraisal  of  Work  645 

Grading  of  Services  649 

Ideal  and  Reality  650 


CONTENTS  mi* 

Chapter  III 

SUBJECTS  AND  CITIZENS  OF  THE  STATE    ....  656 

How  One  Becomes  a  Citizen  Today  657 

Citizens  —  State  Subjects  —  Aliens  658 

The  State  Citizen  Master  of  the  Reich  659 

Chapter  IV 

PERSONALITY  AND  THE  CONCEPTION  OF  THE  NATIONAL 

STATE 660 

Construction  on  Aristocratic  Principle  66 1 

Rise  of  Human  Culture  662 

Personality  and  Progress  of  Culture  663 

Value  of  Personality  664 

The  Majority  Principle  666 

Marxism  Denies  Personality  666 

Marxism  is  Uncreative  668 

The  Best  State  Constitution  669 

Advisory  Chambers  —  Responsible  Leaders  670 

Towards  the  Future  State  672 

Chapter  V 

VIEW  OF  LIFE  AND  ORGANIZATION 673 

Struggle  and  Criticism  674 

Views  of  Life  are  Intolerant  676 

Parties  Seek  Compromises  676 

Community  on  the  Basis  of  New  View  of  Life  677 

Leadership  and  Following-  678 

Necessity  of  Guiding  Principles  680 

Formulation  of  Guiding  Principles  68 1 

Stability  of  Program  682 

Spirit,  Not  Letter,  Decides  683 

National  Socialism  and  Folkish  Idea  684 

THe  Sham  Folkish  685 


xxx  CONTENTS 


Chapter  VI 


THE  STRUGGLE  OF  THE  EARLY  DAYS  —  THE  SIGNIFI- 
CANCE OF  THE  SPOKEN  WORD  695 
Struggle  Against  Poisoning  Propaganda  696 
Against  the  Current  699 
Politics  at  Far  Sight  700 
Oratorical  Experiences  701 
Enlightenment  on  the  Peace  Treaties  702 
Speech  More  Effective  than  Writing  704 
Psychological  Aspects  of  Oratory  704 
Oratory  and  Writing  in  the  Service  of  Agitation  705 
Psychological  Conditions  of  Oratorical  Effectiveness  709 
Orators  and  Revolution  711 
Printed  Speech  Disappoints  712 
Bethmann  and  Lloyd  George  as  Orators  712 
Necessity  of  Mass  Meetings  715 
Significance  of  Community  Feeling  715 
Orators  Who  Break  Down  716 

Chapter  VII 

THE  STRUGGLE  WITH  THE  RED  FRONT      .  .      .         717 

Bourgeois  '  Mass  Meetings '  718 

National  Socialist  Mass  Meetings  720 

The  Equivocal  Red  Posters  721 

Vacillating  Tactics  of  the  Marxists  723 

Opponents  Make  Us  Known  723 

Law-Breaking  Police  Procedure  724 

Psychologically  Correct  Rally  Management  725 

Marxist  Rally  Technique  726 

Bourgeois  Rally  Technique  727 

National  Socialist  Order  Troops  729 

Significance  of  the  Unified  Symbol  730 

Old  and  New  Black-Red-Gold  731 

Old  and  New  Reich  Flag  733 

The  National  Socialist  Flag  734 


CONTENTS  xxxi 

Interpretation  of  the  National  Socialist  Symbol  736 

The  First  Circus  Rally  739 

Rally  After  Rally  743 

Futile  Attempts  at  Disruption  746 

The  Meeting  Continues  749 


Chapter  VIII 

THE  STRONG  MAN  is  MIGHTIEST  ALONE        .      .      .  750 

Right  of  Priority  in  a  Movement  751 

The  Struggle  for  Leadership  753 

Austria  and  Prussia  754 

Causes  of  Folkish  Dismemberment  757 

The  Formation  of  Joint  Efforts  758 

The  Essence  of  Joint  Efforts  760 

The  Collapse  of  Joint  Efforts  762 

Chapter  IX 

FUNDAMENTAL  THOUGHTS  ON  THE  MEANING  AND  THE 

ORGANIZATION  OF  THE  STORM  TROOPS  764 

The  Three  Pillars  of  Authority  764 

The  Three  Classes  of  Folk  Bodies  766 

The  Sacrifice  of  the  Best  767 

The  Hyperfecundity  of  the  Bad  768 

Resulting  Disorganization  770 

Founding  of  the  Free  Corps  771 

Misplaced  Leniency  to  Deserters  773 

Deserters  and  Revolution  773 

Fear  of  the  Front  Soldiers  775 

Collaboration  of  Left  Parties  776 

The  Capture  of  the  Bourgeois  777 

Capitulation  of  the  Bourgeois  779 

Why  Did  the  Revolution  Succeed?  780 

Passivity  of  the  State  Guardians  781 

Capitulation  to  Marxism  782 


xx*K  CONTENTS 

Breakdown  of  the  National  Parties  783 

Without  an  Idea,  No  Force  for  Struggle  784 

Advocacy  of  the  Folkish  Idea  786 

Need  for  Guard  Troops  787 

Guarding  the  Nation,  Not  the  State  790 

Self-Protection,  Not  'Defense  League'  791 

Why  No  Defense  Leagues  792 

Impossibility  of  Proper  Drilling  793 

Counter-Tendency  of  the  State  795 

The  Sacrifice  of  Our  Army  796 

No  Secret  Organizations  797 

The  Danger  of  Secret  Organizations  798 

Shall  Traitors  be  '  Eliminated '  ?  800 

Sport  Training  of  the  S.A.  801 

Designation  and  Publicity  802 

First  Parade  in  Munich  805 

The  March  to  Coburg  806 

The  Reception  in  Coburg  806 

Red  Demonstration  807 
The  S.A.  Stands  the  Test  as  a  Vital  Organization 

of  Struggle  809 

The  End  of  1923  810 


Chapter  X 

FEDERALISM  AS  A  MASK 816 

War  Associations  and  Anti-Prussian  Sentiment  817 

Anti- Prussian  Agitation  as  a  Diversion  Maneuver  818 

Kurt  Eisner,  'Bavarian  Particularist '  819 

My  Struggle  Against  the  Anti-Prussian  Incitement  820 

1  Federative  Activity '  822 

Jewish  Incitement  Tactic  823 

Anti-Semitism  and  Defense  824 

The  Jew  Creates  Confessional  Conflict  825 

The  Curse  of  Religious  Wars  826 

Necessity  for  Agreement  827 

Struggle  Against  the  'Center1  828 


CONTENTS  xxxiii 

Federal  or  Unified  State?  830 

The  Gentian  Federal  State  831 

Bismarck's  Creation  832 

The  Revolution  and  the  Federal  State  833 
The  Policy  of  Redemption  and  the  Forfeiture  of  the 

Federal  States'  Sovereignty  834 

Results  of  Reich  Foreign  Policy  836 

National  State  or  Slave  Colony  837 

Unifying  Tendencies  838 

Abuse  of  Centralization  839 

Oppression  of  the  Individual  States  841 

Centralization  Benefits  Party  Coffers  841 

Reich  State  Sovereignty  842 

Cultural  Tasks  of  the  Provinces  842 

Unification  of  the  Army  843 

One  People  —  One  State  845 


Chapter  XI 

PROPAGANDA  AND  ORGANIZATION 846 

Theoretician  —  Organizer  —  Agitator  847 

Followers  and  Members  849 

Propaganda  and  Organization  850 

The  Power  for  Struggle  of  Activistic  Selection  853 

Limitation  on  Membership  Enrolment  854 

Frightening  the  Half-Hearted  856 

Reorganization  of  the  Movement  857 

Suspension  of  'Parliamentarism*  858 

Responsibility  of  the  Chief  859 

Principle  of  the  Leader  Idea  859 

The  Embryonic  State  of  the  Movement  860 

Building  the  Movement  86l 


xxxhr  CONTENTS 

Chapter  XII 

THE  TRADE-UNION  QUESTION 868 

Arc  Trade  Unions  Necessary?  870 
National  Socialist  Trade  Unions?  871 
Future  Chambers  of  Economy  875 
Corporation  Chambers  and  Economic  Parliament  876 
No  Dual  Unions  877 
First  the  Battle  for  the  View  of  Life,  Later  the  Libera- 
tion of  the  Individual  880 
Better  no  National  Socialist  Trade  Union  than  a  Mis- 
carriage 882 

Chapter  XIII 

GERMAN  POLICY  OF  ALLIANCE  AFTER  THE  WAR   .  .  885 

Reasons  for  the  Breakdown  886 

The  Goal  of  Foreign  Policy:  Freedom  for  Tomorrow  888 

Precondition  for  the  Liberation  of  the  Lost  Regions  888 

Strengthening  of  Continental  Power  892 

False  Continental  Policy  Before  the  War  894 

European  Relations  of  Power  894 

England  and  Germany  895 

Shifting  of  the  4 Balance  of  Power'  896 

England's  War  Aim  Unachieved  898 

The  Hegemony  of  France  899 

Political  Aims  of  France  and  England  899 

On  the  Possibilities  of  Alliances  900 

Necessity  of  Community  of  Interests  901 

Is  Germany  Capable  of  an  Alliance?  903 

The  Will  to  Destruction  of  Jewish  Finance  905 

Jewish  World  Incitement  Against  Germany  906 

Adaptation  to  the  Mentalities  of  Nations  907 

Two  Possible  Allies:  England  —  Italy  908 

Hobnobbing  with  France  909 

The  South  Tyrol  Question  911 


CONTENTS  XKXV 

Frustration  of  German-Italian  Agreement  915 

Who  Betrayed  the  South  Tyrol  915 

Not  Armed  Force,  But  the  Politics  of  Alliance  917 

Three  Questions  on  the  Politics  of  Alliance  918 

The  First  Symptom  of  German  Rebirth  919 

Neglected  Exploiting  of  the  Versailles  Treaty  920 

4  Lord  Bless  Our  Struggle '  921 

Inversion  of  the  Anti-German  Psychosis  922 

The  Will  to  Liberation  Struggle  923 

Concentration  on  One  Opponent  925 

Settling  Accounts  with  One's  Own  Traitors  925 

War  of  the  Nations  Against  Jewry  927 

England  and  Jewry  928 

Japan  and  Jewry  929 

Jewry,  the  World  Enemy  931 


Chapter  XIV 

EASTERN  ORIENTATION  OR  EASTERN  POLICY         .      .  933 

Prejudice  in  Questions  of  Foreign  Policy  934 
Significance  of  the  State's  Territorial  Extensiveness    935 

Area  and  World  Power  936 

French  and  German  Colonial  Policy  937 

Out  of  the  Constricted  Existence!  939 

The  Strength  of  a  State  is  Relative  941 

The  Fruits  of  a  Millennium  of  German  Policy  941 

No  Hurrah-Patriotism!  943 

The  Call  to  the  Old  Borders  944 

Foreign  Poljpy  Aim  of  the  National  Socialists  947 

No  Sentimentality  in  Foreign  Policy  948 

Germanic  Elements  in  Russia  951 

End  of  Jewish  Domination  in  Russia?  952 

Bismarck's  Russian  Policy  953 

The  'League  of  Oppressed  Nations'  954 

Is  England's  Hold  on  India  Shaking?  955 

Is  England's  Hold  on  the  East  Shaking?  957 

German  Alliance  with  Russia?  957 


xxxvi  CONTENTS 

Germany-Russia  Before  the  War  960 

A  Political  Testament  963 

Advantages  of  an  Anglo-German-Italian  Alliance  964 

The  Preconditions  for  an  Eastern  Policy  965 

The  National  Socialists  966 


Chapter  XV 

EMERGENCY  DEFENSE  AS  A  RIGHT 968 

Jewish  Leadership  of  Foreign  Policy  970 

Seven  Years  to  1813  —  Seven  Years  to  Locarno  971 

Persecution  of  Unpleasant  Prophets  972 

France's  Immovable  War  Aim  974 

France's  Immovable  Political  Aim  977 

Settlement  with  France  978 

The  Occupation  of  the  Ruhr  District  979 
Foreign  and  Domestic  Political  Results  of  the  Ruhr 

Occupation  979 
What  Should  Have  Been  Done  After  the  Ruhr  Oc- 
cupation? 981 
The  Neglected  Accounting  with  Marxism  983 
Not  Weapons,  but  Will,  Decides!  987 
Cuno's  Road  987 
The 'United  Front'  988 
Passive  Resistance  989 
The  Position  of  the  National  Socialists  990 
November  1923  992 
Our  Dead  as  Monitors  of  Duty  993 

* 

CONCLUSION 994 

INDEX 995 


Volume  One 
AN  ACCOUNTING 


This  translation  was  prepared  under  the  aus- 
pices of  Dr.  Alvin  Johnson,  of  The  New  School 
for  Social  Research. 


The  typography  of  the  text  of  this  book  follows 
that  of  the  first  German  edition.  Both  italics  and 
bold-faced  type  are  used  wherever  they  occurred 
in  the  original. 


The  more  important  portions  of  this  book,  omit- 
ted from  the  Dugdale  Abridgment  or  condensed 
in  that  version,  are  indicated  by  a  dagger  at  the 
beginning  of  such  passages  and  by  an  arrow  at 
the  end. 


CHAPTER  I 
AT  HOME 


••FODAY  I  consider  it  my  good  fortune  that  Fate  de- 

1  signated  Braunau  on  the  Inn  as  the  place  of  my  birth. 

•   For  this  small  town  is  situated  on  the  border  between 

those  two  German  States,  the  reunion  of  which  seems,  at 

least  to  us  of  the  younger  generation,  a  task  to  be  furthered 

with  every  means  our  lives  long. 

German-Austria  must  return  to  the  great  German  mo- 
therland, and  not  because  of  economic  considerations  of 
any  sort.  No,  no:  even  if  from  the  economic  point  of  view 
this  union  were  unimportant,  indeed,  if  it  were  harmful,  it 
ought  nevertheless  to  be  brought  about.  Common  blood  be- 
longs in  a  common  Reich.  As  long  as  the  German  nation  is 
unable  even  to  band  together  its  own  children  in  one  com- 
mon State,  it  has  no  moral  right  to  think  of  colonization  as 
one  of  its  political  aims.  Only  when  the  boundaries  of  the 
Reich  include  even  the  last  German,  only  when  it  is  no 
longer  possible  to  assure  him  of  daily  bread  inside  them, 
does  there  arise,  out  of  the  distress  of  the  nation,  the  moral 
right  to  acquire  foreign  soil  and  territory.  The  sword  is 
then  the  plow,  and  from  the  tears  of  war  there  grows  the 
daily  bread  for  generations  to  come.  Therefore,  this  little 
town  on  the  border  appears  to  me  the  symbol  of  a  great 
task.  But  in  another  respect  also  it  looms  up  as  a  warning 


4  MEIN  KAMPF 

to  our  present  time.  More  than  a  hundred  years  ago,  this 
insignificant  little  place  had  the  privilege  of  gaining  an 
immortal  place  in  German  history  at  least  by  being  the 
scene  of  a  tragic  misfortune  that  moved  the  entire  nation. 
There,  during  the  time  of  the  deepest  humiliation  of  our 
fatherland,  Johannes  Palm,  citizen  of  Nurnberg,  a  middle- 
class  bookdealer,  die-hard  'nationalist,1  an  enemy  of  the 

The  idealism  of  the  Wars  of  Liberation,  waged  by  Prussia 
against  Napoleon,  is  reflected  in  the  career  of  Johann  Phillip 
Palm,  Nurnberg  book-seller,  who  in  1806  issued  a  work  en- 
titled, Deutschland  in  seiner  tiefsten  Erniedrigung  (Germany  in 
the  Hour  of  Its  Deepest  Humiliation).  This  was  a  diatribe 
against  the  Corsican.  Palm  was  tried  by  a  military  tribunal, 
sentenced  to  death,  and  shot  at  Braunau  on  August  26,  1806. 
During  the  centenary  year  (1906)  a  play  in  honor  of  Palm  was 
written  by  A.  Ebenhoch,  an  Austrian  author.  It  is  possible 
that  Hitler  may  have  seen  or  read  this  drama. 

Leo  Schlageter,  a  German  artillery  officer  who  served  after 
the  World  War  in  the  Free  Corps  with  which  General  von  der 
Goltz  attempted  to  conserve  part  of  what  Germany  had  gained 
by  the  Treaty  of  Brest-Litovsk,  was  found  guilty  of  sabotage 
by  a  French  military  tribunal  during  the  Ruhr  invasion  of 
1923.  He  had  blown  up  a  portion  of  the  railway  line  between 
Dusseldorf  and  Duisburg,  and  had  been  caught  in  the  act. 
The  assertion  that  he  was  'betrayed*  to  the  French  is  without 
historical  foundation.  It  was  the  policy  of  the  German  govern- 
ment to  discountenance  open  military  measures  and  to  place 
its  reliance  upon  so-called  'passive  resistance.'  Karl  Severing, 
then  Social  Democratic  Minister  of  the  Interior  in  Prussia,  was 
a  zealous  though  cautious  patriot  whose  firm  defense  of  the 
democratic  institutions  of  Weimar  angered  extremists  of  all 
kinds.  He  was  thus  a  favorite  Nazi  target.  The  governments  oi 
the  Reich  and  of  Prussia  made  every  effort  to  save  Schlageter. 
The  Vatican  intervened  in  his  behalf,  and  it  is  generally  sup- 
posed that  the  French  authorities  would  have  commuted  the 
sentence  had  it  not  been  for  a  sudden  wave  of  opposition  to 


AT  HOME  5 

French,  was  killed  for  the  sake  of  the  Germany  he  ardently 
loved  even  in  the  hour  of  its  distress.  He  had  obstinately 
refused  to  denounce  his  fellow  offenders,  or  rather  the  chief 
offenders.  Thus  he  acted  like  Leo  Schlageter.  But  like 
him,  he  too  was  betrayed  to  France  by  a  representative  of 
his  government.  It  was  a  director  of  the  Augsburg  police 
who  earned  that  shoddy  glory,  thus  setting  an  example  for 
the  new  German  authorities  of  Heir  Severing's  Reich, 
t  In  this  little  town  on  the  river  Inn,  gilded  by  the  light  of 
German  martyrdom,  there  lived,  at  the  end  of  the  eighties 
of  the  last  century,  my  parents,  Bavarian  by  blood,  Aus- 
trian by  nationality :  the  father  a  faithful  civil  servant,  the 

Poincar6's  policy  in  the  Chamber.  That  induced  the  govern- 
ment to  make  a  show  of  firmness.  Schlageter,  whose  last  words 
are  said  to  have  been,  'Germany  must  live,'  was  executed  on 
May  26, 1923.  Immediately  he  became  a  German  national  hero. 
His  example  more  than  anything  else  hallowed  the  tradition  of 
the  Free  Corps  in  the  popular  mind  and  thus  strengthened  pro- 
militaristic  sentiment.  One  of  the  first  cultural  activities  of  the 
Nazi  regime  was  a  tribute  to  Schlageter. 

Hitler's  family  background  has  been  a  subject  for  much  re- 
search and  speculation.  The  father,  Alois  Hitler  (1837-1903), 
was  the  illegitimate  son  of  Maria  Anna  Schicklgruber;  and  it  is 
generally  assumed  that  the  father  was  the  man  she  married  — 
Johann  Hiedler.  Until  he  was  forty,  he  bore  the  name  of  his 
mother,  being  known  as  Alois  Schicklgruber.  Then  on  January 
8,  1877,  he  legally  changed  the  name  to  Hitler,  which  had  been 
that  of  his  maternal  grandmother.  His  third  wife  was  Klara 
Poelzl  (1860-1908),  who  on  April  20,  1889,  gave  birth  to  Adolf 
Hitler.  There  may  have  been  a  brother  or  half-brother  —  if 
reports  current  in  Nazi  circles  are  to  be  credited.  At  any  rate, 
Hitler  has  a  living  sister  and  a  half-sister.  The  first  has  lived  in 
retirement,  but  the  second  —  a  woman  of  considerable  charm 
and  ability  —  is  known  to  have  exercised  no  little  influence  at 
times. 


6  MEIN  KAMPF 

mother  devoting  herself  to  the  cares  of  the  household  and 
looking  after  her  children  with  eternally  the  same  loving 
kindness.  I  remember  only  little  of  this  time,  for  a  few 
years  later  my  father  had  again  to  leave  the  little  border 
town  he  had  learned  to  like,  and  go  down  the  Inn  to  take  a 
new  position  at  Passau,  that  is  in  Germany  proper. 

But  the  lot  of  an  Austrian  customs  official  of  those  days 
frequently  meant  'moving  on.'  Just  a  short  time  after- 
wards my  father  was  transferred  to  Linz,  and  finally  retired 
on  a  pension  there.  But  this  was  not  to  mean  *  rest'  for  the 
old  man.  The  son  of  a  poor  cottager,  even  in  his  childhood 
he  had  not  been  able  to  stay  at  home.  Not  yet  thirteen 
years  old,  the  little  boy  he  then  was  bundled  up  his  things 
and  ran  away  from  his  homeland,  the  Waldviertel.  Despite 
the  dissuasion  of  'experienced'  inhabitants  of  the  village 
he  had  gone  to  Vienna  to  learn  a  trade  there.  This  was  in 
the  fifties  of  the  last  century.  A  bitter  resolve  it  must  have 
been  to  take  to  the  road,  into  the  unknown,  with  only  three 
guilders  for  traveling  money.  But  by  the  time  the  thirteen- 
year-old  lad  was  seventeen,  he  had  passed  his  apprentice's 
examination,  but  he  had  not  yet  found  satisfaction.  It  was 
rather  the  opposite.  The  long  time  of  hardship  through 
which  he  then  passed,  of  endless  poverty  and  misery, 
strengthened  his  resolve  to  give  up  the  trade  after  all  in 
order  to  become  something  'better.'  If  once  the  village 
pastor  had  seemed  to  the  little  boy  the  incarnation  of  all 
obtainable  human  success,  now,  in  the  big  city  which  had 
so  widened  his  perspective,  the  rank  of  civil  servant  became 
the  ideal.  With  all  the  tenacity  of  one  who  had  grown  '  old ' 
through  want  and  sorrow  while  still  half  a  child,  the  sev- 
enteen-year-old youth  clung  to  his  decision . . .  and  became 
a  civil  servant.  The  goal  was  reached,  I  believe,  after  nearly 
twenty-three  years.  Now  there  had  been  realized  the 
premise  of  the  vow  that  the  poor  boy  once  had  sworn,  not 
to  return  to  his  dear  native  village  before  he  had  become 
something. 


AT  HOME  7 

Now  the  goal  was  reached,  but  nobody  in  the  village 
remembered  the  little  boy  of  long  ago,  and  the  village  had 
become  a  stranger  to  him. 

When  he  retired  at  the  age  of  fifty-six,  he  was  unable  to 
spend  a  single  day  in  'doing  nothing.'  He  bought  a  farm 
near  Lambach  in  Upper  Austria  which  he  worked  himself, 
thus  returning,  after  a  long  and  active  life,  to  the  origin  of 
his  ancestors. 

It  was  probably  at  that  time  that  my  first  ideals  were 
formed.  A  lot  of  romping  around  out-of-doors,  the  long 
trip  to  school,  and  the  companionship  with  unusually  'ro- 
bust1 boys,  which  at  times  caused  my  mother  much  grief, 
made  me  anything  but  a  stay-at-home.  Though  I  did  not 
brood  over  my  future  career  at  that  time,  I  had  decidedly 
no  sympathy  for  the  course  my  father's  life  had  taken.  I 
believe  that  even  then  my  ability  for  making  speeches  was 
trained  by  the  more  or  less  stirring  discussions  with  my 
comrades.  I  had  become  a  little  ringleader  and  at  that 
time  learned  easily  and  did  very  well  in  school,  but  for  the 
rest  I  was  rather  difficult  to  handle.  Inasmuch  as  I  received 
singing  lessons  in  my  spare  time  in  the  choir  of  the  Lambach 
Convent,  I  repeatedly  had  an  excellent  opportunity  of  intox- 
icating myself  with  the  solemn  splendor  of  the  magnificent 
church  festivals.  It  was  perfectly  natural  that  the  position 
of  abbot  appeared  to  me  to  be  the  highest  ideal  obtainable, 
just  as  that  of  being  the  village  pastor  had  appealed  to  my 
father.  At  least  at  times  this  was  the  case.  For  obvious 
reasons  my  father  could  not  appreciate  the  talent  for  ora- 
tory of  his  quarrelsome  son  in  the  same  measure,  nor  could 
he  perceive  in  it  any  hope  for  the  future  of  the  lad,  and  so 
he  showed  no  understanding  for  these  youthful  ideas. 
Sadly  he  observed  this  dissension  of  nature. 

Actually,  my  occasional  longing  for  this  profession  dis- 
appeared very  quickly  and  made  way  for  aspirations  more 
in  keeping  with  my  temperament.  Rummaging  through 


•  MEIN  KAMPF 

my  father's  library,  I  stumbled  upon  various  books  on  mili- 
tary subjects,  and  among  them  I  found  a  popular  edition 
dealing  with  the  Franco-Prussian  War  of  1870-71.  These 
were  two  volumes  of  an  illustrated  journal  of  the  period 
which  now  became  my  favorite  reading  matter.  Before 
long  that  great  heroic  campaign  had  become  my  greatest 
spiritual  experience.  From  then  on  I  raved  more  and  more 
about  everything  connected  with  war  or  with  militarism. 

Since  Hitler's  outlook  and  policies  are  rooted  in  Austrian  ex- 
perience (it  is  sometimes  said  that  he  'made  Germany  an  Aus- 
trian's province')  some  remarks  on  the  general  situation  in  his 
home  land  may  be  helpful.  The  Austria-Hungary  of  the  last 
three  decades  of  the  nineteenth  century  was  only  the  remnant 
of  a  Habsburg  Empire  that  had  once  included  most  of  western 
Europe.  It  was  a  'dual  monarchy,'  the  crown  belonging  to  the 
monarch  as  Emperor  of  Austria  and  King  of  Hungary.  Since 
most  of  Germany  had  been  welded  together  (1871)  by  Bis- 
marck in  an  empire  ruled  by  the  Hohenzollern  kings  of  Prussia, 
the  Germans  who  remained  in  Austria-Hungary  constituted  a 
minority,  even  though  most  of  the  important  bureaucratic 
positions  were  still  in  their  hands.  The  position  obtained  by 
Hungary  made  their  lot  no  easier.  For  soon  every  '  nationality ' 
wished  to  secure  comparable  advantages  for  itself. 

The  monarchy  itself  had  suffered  many  a  reverse.  Under 
Frederick  the  Great  and  Bismarck,  the  Prussians  had  inflicted 
several  major  defeats  upon  their  Austrian  rivals.  While  the 
revolutionary  liberalism  of  1848  was  successfully  put  down  at 
the  cost  of  severe  fighting,  the  power  of  the  bureaucratic  State 
was  none  the  less  seriously  undermined  and  the  eventual 
triumph  of  'constitutionalism*  in  1860-61  was  assured.  In 
addition  the  unification  of  Italy  was  achieved  at  the  cost  of 
Austrian  prestige  and  possessions.  And  though  the  Partition  of 
Poland  had  added  Galicia  to  the  Habsburg  domains,  it  was 
always  doubtful  who  ruled  the  province  —  the  Poles  or  the 
Austrians.  Galicia  was  also  the  home  of  large  Jewish  com- 
munities, from  which  strong  contingents  moved  to  Vienna 
and  other  important  cities. 


AT  HOME  9 

But  this  was  to  prove  of  importance  to  me  in  another 
direction  as  well.  For  the  first  time  the  question  confronted 
me  —  I  was  a  bit  confused,  perhaps  —  if  and  what  differ- 
ence there  was  between  those  Germans  fighting  these  bat- 
tles and  the  others.  Why  was  it  that  Austria  had  not  taken 
part  also  in  this  war,  why  not  my  father,  and  why  not  all 
the  others?  -<• 

Are  we  not  the  same  as  all  the  other  Germans? 

Do  we  not  all  belong  together?  This  problem  now  began 
to  whirl  through  my  little  head  for  the  first  time.  After 
cautious  questioning,  I  heard  with  envy  the  reply  that  not 
every  German  was  fortunate  enough  to  belong  to  Bis- 
marck's Reich. 

This  I  could  not  understand. 

I  was  to  become  a  student. 


From  1880  onward,  the  problem  of  *  nationalities'  dominated 
Austrian  life.  On  the  one  hand,  the  Hungarians  were  concerned 
lest  the  Slavic  groups  —  Czechs,  Croats,  Poles,  etc.  —  extend 
their  demand  for  autonomy  to  the  point  where  the  Empire 
would  become  a  *  federation'  of  States,  and  therefore  made 
common  cause  with  the  Germans  on  issues  affecting  the  status 
quo.  But  a  good  many  Germans,  for  their  part,  felt  aggrieved 
at  having  been  excluded  from  the  Bismarckian  Empire  and 
saw  no  future  for  themselves  in  a  predominantly  Slavic  State. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  Czechs  and  kindred  'nationalities'  con- 
tinued to  urge  the  idea  of  a  federation,  and  to  insist  upon  the 
right  to  foster  their  own  languages  and  cultures.  The  Habs- 
burg  rulers  had  no  choice  save  recourse  to  continual  compro- 
mise. In  the  Austrian  parliament  common  national  interests, 
for  example  the  army,  were  always  being  subordinated  to  hotly 
debated  matters  of  domestic  'nationality'  policy.  Doubtless 
there  was  no  way  out  except  the  establishment  of  a  federation. 
To  this  idea  Franz  Ferdinand,  the  Crown  Prince  whose  murder 
at  Saravejo  was  the  immediate  cause  of  the  World  War,  seems 
to  have  committed  himself. 


10  MEIN  KAMPF 

Because  of  my  entire  nature,  even  more  because  of  my 
temperament,  my  father  thought  he  was  right  in  concluding 
that  attendance  at  the  humanistic  Gymnasium  would  not 
be  in  keeping  with  my  ability.  He  thought  that  the  Real- 
schule  [a  German  secondary  school  for  modern  subjects  and 
sciences]  seemed  more  suitable.  This  opinion  was  strength- 
ened by  my  obvious  talent  for  drawing;  this  subject,  he 
thought,  had  been  neglected  in  the  Austrian  schools.  Per- 
haps his  own  lifetime  of  hard  work  was  a  decisive  factor  and 
made  him  appreciate  humanistic  studies  to  a  lesser  degree, 
for  to  him  they  appeared  impractical.  As  a  matter  of  prin- 
ciple, he  was  determined  that  like  himself  his  son  should, 
nay  must,  become  an  official.  It  was  natural  that  the  bitter 
experiences  of  his  own  youth  made  his  later  achievements 
appear  so  much  greater,  especially  since  they  were  exclu- 

Some  Germans  protested  strongly  against  these  tendencies. 
Nevertheless,  the  effort  to  create  a  party  openly  favorable  to 
the  separation  of  German  Austria  from  the  Austro-Hungarian 
Empire  and  its  merger  in  the  Bismarckian  State  was  far  less 
successful  than  might  have  been  anticipated.  The  early  Na- 
tionalists of  the  iSSo's  eventually  gave  rise  to  the  Grossdeutsch 
Partei  of  Hitler's  youth,  which  was  violently  critical  of  the 
Habsburgs  and  of  all  concessions  made  to  the  Slavs  during  the 
years  1879-1900.  Perhaps  it  would  have  gained  more  ground 
if  Bismarck  had  been  vitally  interested  in  the  problem.  But  in 
addition  to  the  dynastic  question  of  the  status  of  the  Habsburgs, 
he  had  after  1871  to  avoid  giving  the  impression  that  Prussia 
was  an  expansion-hungry  State.  He  also  realized  that  the 
Vienna  monarchy  was  a  source  of  unity  in  the  chaotic  south- 
east of  Europe,  in  the  affairs  of  which  he  did  not  wish  to  involve 
Germany.  Accordingly,  the  Grossdeutsch  people  got  little 
sympathy  from  him.  When  he  was  dismissed  from  his  post  by 
Emperor  Wilhelm  II,  the  sole  group  remaining  in  Germany 
that  could  have  given  much  support  to  the  separationist  move- 
ment in  German  Austria  was  the  AUdeutscher  Verband  (Pan- 


AT  HOME  11 

sively  the  result  of  his  own  industry  and  energy.  It  was  the 
pride  of  the  self-made  man  which  moved  him  to  endeavor 
to  bring  his  son  to  a  similar  position  in  life,  if  not  a  better 
one,  and  all  the  more  since  he  hoped  to  make  things  easier 
for  the  child  through  his  own  industry. 

It  was  unthinkable  that  that  which  had  become  the  con- 
tent of  his  whole  life  could  be  rejected.  Thus  the  father's 
decision  was  matter-of-fact,  simple,  exact,  and  clear,  quite 
comprehensibly  in  his  own  eyes.  His  domineering  nature, 
the  result  of  a  lifelong  struggle  for  existence,  would  have 
thought  it  unbearable  to  leave  the  ultimate  decision  to  a 
boy  who,  in  his  opinion,  was  inexperienced  and  irrespon- 
sible. What  is  more,  this  would  have  been  inconsistent  with 
his  idea  of  duty,  a  wicked  and  reprehensible  weakness  in 
exercising  his  paternal  authority  as  he  saw  it  in  his  respon- 
sibility for  the  future  of  his  son. 

German  League),  an  organization  of  chauvinists  and  expan- 
sionists. They,  however,  looked  upon  Austria-Hungary  as  a 
powerful  ally  and  as  a  diving-board  for  the  plunge  eastward 
which  they  looked  upon  as  the  German  destiny. 

In  Austria  itself  the  Grossdeutsch  elements  adopted  a  policy 
calculated  to  insure  failure.  They  sponsored  a  little  Kultur- 
kampf  (religious  war)  of  their  own,  attacking  the  clergy  and 
the  Church;  they  disassociated  themselves  from  all  social  re- 
form and  all  concessions  to  other  groups;  and  they  were  given 
to  rabid  attacks  on  the  monarchy.  As  a  consequence,  the  Ger- 
man group  was  more  seriously  divided  than  ever.  These  mis- 
takes all  made,  as  is  evident  from  the  text  of  Mein  Kampf ,  a 
deep  and  lasting  impression  upon  Hitler.  Just  as  he  was  dis- 
gusted with  the  wrangling  about  'nationality'  problems  that 
characterized  the  Austrian  parliament,  so  was  he  conscious  of 
the  mistakes  which  the  pro- Prussia  leaders  had  made.  He 
never  disassociated  himself  from  the  principles  adopted  by 
those  leaders,  but  he  learned  to  look  askance  at  their  methods. 

The  extent  of  Austrian  yearning  for  incorporation  in  the 


12  MEIN  KAMPF 

And  yet  the  course  of  events  was  to  take  a  different  turn. 

For  the  first  time  in  my  life,  I  was  barely  eleven,  I  was 
forced  into  opposition.  No  matter  how  firm  and  deter- 
mined my  father  might  be  in  carrying  out  his  plans  and 
intentions  once  made,  his  son  was  just  as  stubborn  and 
obstinate  in  rejecting  an  idea  which  had  little  or  no  appeal 
for  him. 

I  did  not  want  to  become  an  official. 

Neither  persuasion  nor  '  sincere '  arguments  were  able  to 
break  down  this  resistance.  I  did  not  want  to  become  an 
official,  no,  and  again  no!  All  attempts  to  arouse  my  inter- 
est or  my  liking  for  such  a  career  by  stories  of  my  father's 
life  had  the  opposite  effect.  The  thought  of  being  a  slave 
in  an  office  made  me  ill ;  not  to  be  master  of  my  own  time, 
but  to  force  an  entire  lifetime  into  the  filling-in  of  forms, 
t  What  ideas  this  must  have  awakened  in  a  boy  who  was 
anything  but '  good '  in  the  ordinary  sense  of  the  word !  The 
ridiculously  easy  learning  at  school  left  me  so  much  spare 

German  Empire  or,  after  1918,  the  German  Republic,  is  a  moot 
question.  Prior  to  the  War,  anti-Prussian  sentiment  was 
probably  just  as  vigorous  among  the  people  generally  as  pro- 
Habsburg  sentiment.  After  the  defeat  there  was  a  general 
feeling  that  the  little  independent  State  of  Austria  could  not 
survive.  Even  so  it  is  very  doubtful  whether  the  demand  for 
Anschluss  was  as  'elemental1  as  Hitler  says  it  was.  Some 
Austrians  —  notably  Professor  Ludo  Hartmann  —  sponsored 
it  with  vigor  and  eloquence.  A  few  unofficial  plebiscites  were 
held  in  Salzburg  and  elsewhere  and  seemed  to  show  that  senti- 
ment was  overwhelmingly  in  favor  of  Anschluss;  but  individu- 
ally and  collectively  they  have  little  value  as  evidence.  Other 
sources  of  information  (e.g.,  records  of  party  deliberations)  give 
a  different  impression.  Undoubtedly  the  desire  for  union  grew 
during  the  following  years,  but  it  is  none  the  less  doubtful 
whether  an  honest  plebiscite  in  1938  would  have  favored  ab- 
sorption of  Austria  into  the  Third  Reich. 


AT  HOME  13 

time  that  the  sun  saw  more  of  me  than  the  four  walls  of  my 
room.  When  today  my  political  opponents  examine  my  life 
down  to  the  time  of  my  childhood  with  loving  attention,  so 
that  at  last  they  can  point  with  relief  to  the  intolerable 
pranks  this  'Hitler1  carried  out  even  in  his  youth,  I  thank 
Heaven  for  now  giving  me  a  share  of  the  memories  of  those 
happy  days.  Woods  and  meadows  were  the  battlefield 
where  the  ever-present  'conflicts'  were  fought  out. 

My  attendance  at  the  Realschule,  which  now  followed, 
did  little  to  deter  me. 

But  now  it  was  a  different  conflict  that  had  to  be  fought. 

This  was  bearable  as  long  as  my  father's  intention  to 
make  an  official  of  me  was  confronted  by  nothing  more  than 
my  dislike  of  the  profession  on  general  principles.  I  could 
restrain  my  private  views  and,  after  all,  it  was  not  always 
necessary  for  me  to  contradict.  My  own  firm  intention  not 
to  become  an  official  was  sufficient  to  set  my  mind  at  rest. 
This  decision,  however,  was  irrevocable.  The  question  be- 
came more  difficult  as  soon  as  my  father's  plan  was  met  by 
one  of  my  own.  This  took  place  when  I  was  twelve  years 
old.  I  do  not  know  how  it  happened,  but  one  day  it  was 
clear  to  me  that  I  would  become  a  painter,  an  artist.  My 
talent  for  drawing  was  obvious  and  it  was  one  of  the  reasons 
why  my  father  had  sent  me  to  the  Realschule,  but  he  never 
would  have  thought  of  having  me  trained  for  such  a  career. 
On  the  contrary.  When,  after  a  renewed  rejection  of  my 
father's  favorite  idea,  I  was  asked  for  the  first  time  what  I 
intended  to  be  after  all,  I  unexpectedly  burst  forth  with  the 
resolve  I  had  irrevocably  made;  in  the  meantime  my  father 
at  first  was  speechless. 

'A  painter?  An  artist?' 

He  doubted  my  sanity,  he  did  not  trust  his  own  ears  or 
thought  that  he  had  misunderstood.  But  when  it  had  been 
explained  to  him  and  when  he  had  sensed  the  sincerity  of 
my  intentions,  he  opposed  me  with  the  resoluteness  of  his 


14  MEIN  KAMPF 

entire  nature.  His  decision  was  quite  simple,  and  any  con- 
sideration of  those  actual  talents  that  I  might  have  pos- 
sessed was  out  of  the  question. 

'An  artist,  no,  never  as  long  as  I  live/  But  as  his  son  had 
undoubtedly  inherited,  amongst  other  qualities,  a  stubborn- 
ness similar  to  his  own,  he  received  a  similar  reply.  Only 
its  meaning  was  quite  different. 

So  the  situation  remained  on  both  sides.  My  father  did  not 
give  up  his  'never*  and  I  strengthened  my  'nevertheless/ 

Obviously  the  consequences  were  not  very  enjoyable. 
The  old  man  became  embittered,  and,  much  as  I  loved  him, 
the  same  was  true  of  myself.  My  father  forbade  me  to 
entertain  any  hope  of  ever  becoming  a  painter.  I  went  one 
step  farther  by  declaring  that  under  these  circumstances 
I  no  longer  wished  to  study.  Naturally,  as  the  result  of  such 
'declarations'  I  got  the  'worst  of  it,'  and  now  the  old  man 
relentlessly  began  to  enforce  his  authority.  I  remained 
silent  and  turned  my  threats  into  action.  I  was  certain 
that,  as  soon  as  my  father  saw  my  lack  of  progress  in 
school,  come  what  may  he  would  let  me  seek  the  happiness 
of  which  I  was  dreaming. 

I  do  not  know  if  this  reasoning  was  sound.  One  thing 
was  certain :  my  apparent  failure  in  school.  I  learned  what 
I  liked,  but  above  all  I  learned  what  in  my  opinion  might 
be  necessary  to  me  in  my  future  career  as  a  painter.  In  this 
connection  I  sabotaged  all  that  which  seemed  unimportant 
or  that  which  no  longer  attracted  me.  At  that  time  my 
marks  were  always  extreme  depending  upon  the  subject  and 
my  evaluation  of  it.  '  Praiseworthy '  and '  Excellent '  ranked 
with  'Sufficient'  and  '  Insufficient.1  My  best  efforts  were  in 
geography  and  perhaps  even  more  so  in  history.  These 
were  my  two  favorite  subjects  and  in  them  I  led  my  class.-* 

Now,  after  so  many  years,  when  I  examine  the  results  of 
that  period,  I  find  two  outstanding  facts  of  particular  im- 
portance: 


AT  HOME  15 

First,  /  became  a  nationalist. 

Second,  /  learned  lo  grasp  and  to  understand  the  meaning 
of  history. 

Old  Austria  was  a  'State  of  nationalities.9 
t  A  citizen  of  the  German  Empire,  at  that  time  at  least, 
could  hardly  understand  the  bearing  of  this  fact  upon  the 
daily  life  of  the  individual  in  such  a  State.  After  the  amaz- 
ingly victorious  campaign  of  the  heroic  German  armies 
during  the  Franco- Prussian  War,  one  had  become  more  and 
more  estranged  from  the  Germans  abroad,  partly  because 
one  no  longer  knew  how  to  appreciate  them  or  perhaps 
because  one  was  unable  to  do  so.  As  far  as  the  Austro 
German  was  concerned,  it  was  easy  to  confuse  the  decadent 
dynasty  with  a  people  who  were  sound  at  heart. 

It  was  hard  to  understand  that,  were  the  German  in 
Austria  not  actually  of  the  best  stock,  he  never  would  have 
been  able  to  impress  his  mark  upon  a  State  of  fifty-two  mil- 
lion people  in  such  a  manner  as  to  create  even  in  Germany 
the  erroneous  impression  that  Austria  was  a  German  State. 
This  was  nonsensical,  with  the  gravest  of  consequences,  but 
brilliant  testimony  for  the  ten  million  Germans  in  the  Ost- 
mark.  Only  a  very  few  Germans  in  the  empire  had  any 
idea  of  the  continuous  and  inexorable  struggle  waged  for 
the  German  language,  the  German  schools,  and  the  German 
mode  of  existence.  Only  today,  when  this  misery  has  been 
forced  upon  millions  of  our  people  outside  of  the  Reich 
proper,  who,  under  foreign  domination,  dream  of  a  common 
fatherland  and  in  their  longing  for  it  strive  to  preserve  their 
most  sacred  claim  —  their  mother  tongue  —  only  today 
wider  circles  understand  what  it  means  to  fight  for  one's 
nationality.  It  is  now  perhaps  that  the  one  or  the  other  will 
be  able  to  realize  the  greatness  of  the  Germans  abroad  in 
the  old  East  of  the  Reich  who  at  first,  dependent  upon  them- 
selves, for  centuries  protected  the  Reich  in  the  East,  and 
at  last  guarded  the  German  language  frontier  in  a  war  of 


16  MEIN  KAMPF 

attrition  at  a  time  when  the  Reich  was  greatly  interested  in 
colonies  but  not  in  its  own  flesh  and  blood  outside  its  very 
doors. 

As  everywhere  and  always,  as  in  every  struggle,  there 
were  also  in  the  language  struggle  of  the  old  Austria  three 
groups: 

The  fighters,  the  lukewarm,  and  the  traitors. 

Even  in  school  this  segregation  was  apparent.  It  is  sig- 
nificant for  the  language  struggle  on  the  whole  that  its  ways 
engulf  the  school,  the  seed  bed  of  the  coming  generation. 
The  child  is  the  objective  of  the  struggle  and  the  very  first 
appeal  is  addressed  to  it: 

'German  boy,  do  not  forget  that  you  are  a  German.' 

'German  maid,  remember  that  you  are  to  be  a  German 
mother/  •+ 

Those  who  know  the  soul  of  youth  will  understand  that 
it  is  youth  which  lends  its  ears  to  such  a  battle-cry  with  the 
greatest  joy.  In  hundreds  of  forms,  in  its  own  way  and 
with  its  own  weapons,  it  carried  on  the  battle.  It  refuses  to 
sing  non-German  songs;  the  more  one  tries  to  estrange  it 
from  German  heroic  grandeur,  the  more  enthusiastic  it 
waxes;  it  stints  itself  to  collect  pennies  for  the  fund  of  the 
grown-ups;  it  has  an  unusually  fine  ear  for  all  that  the  non- 
German  teacher  says  to  it;  it  is  rebellious;  it  wears  the  for- 
bidden emblem  of  its  own  nationality  and  rejoices  in  being 
punished  or  even  in  being  beaten  for  wearing  that  emblem. 
On  a  smaller  scale  youth  is  a  true  reflection  of  its  elders,  but 
more  often  with  a  deeper  and  a  more  honest  conviction. 

At  a  comparatively  early  age  I,  too,  was  given  the  oppor- 
tunity to  participate  in  the  national  struggle  of  old  Austria. 
Money  was  collected  for  the  Sildmark  and  the  school  club; 
our  conviction  was  demonstrated  by  the  wearing  of  corn- 
flowers and  the  colors  black,  red,  and  gold;  the  greeting  was 
1  Heil ' ; '  Deutschland  iiber  alles f  was  preferred  to  the  imperial 
anthem,  despite  warnings  and  punishments.  In  this  man- 


AT  HOME  17 

ner  the  boy  was  trained  politically  at  an  age  when  a  member 
of  a  so-called  national  State  knows  little  more  of  his  nation- 
ality than  its  language.  It  is  obvious  that  already  then  I 
did  not  belong  to  the  lukewarm.  In  a  short  time  I  had  be- 
come a  fanatical  'German  nationalist/  a  term  which  is  not 
identical  with  our  same  party  name  of  today. 

My  development  was  quite  rapid,  so  that  at  the  age  of 
fifteen  I  already  understood  the  difference  between  dynastic 
'patriotism*  and  popular  'nationalism';  at  that  time  the 
latter  alone  existed  for  me. 

Those  who  have  never  taken  the  trouble  to  study  closely 
the  internal  situation  of  the  Habsburg  monarchy  may  not 
be  able  to  understand  the  full  meaning  of  these  events.  In 
this  State  the  origin  for  this  development  was  to  be  found 
in  the  lessons  in  world  history  taught  in  the  schools,  since 
there  is  practically  no  specific  Austrian  history  as  such. 

The  conservative  cabinet  headed  (1879-1893)  by  Taafe  at- 
tempted to  solve  the  problems  of  the  Empire  by  winning  the 
support  of  the  Slavic  groups.  In  1895-1897  Count  Casimir 
Badeni  sponsored  legislation  favoring  the  Czechs  in  linguistic 
and  cultural  matters;  and  violent  opposition  to  these  measures 
was  aroused  among  the  nationalistic  Germans.  The  Deuischer 
Schulverein  (German  School  Society),  an  organization  founded 
in  1880  to  promote  German  schools  in  foreign  countries,  was  a 
center  of  resistance  particularly  in  Carinthia,  where  the  Slavs 
were  looked  upon  as  especially  menacing.  The  corn-flower  was 
a  patriotic  symbol  in  Wilhelmian  days.  Deutschland,  DeiUsth- 
land  uber  alles,  a  lyric  written  by  Fallersleben  in  1841,  was 
sung  by  the  nationalistic  groups  in  Austria  to  the  tune  written 
by  Hayden  for  the  Imperial  hymn.  Singing  it  was,  therefore, 
an  insult  to  the  Habsburgs.  The  'HeiF  —  an  old  German  form 
of  greeting  —  was  used  by  Austrian  nationalists  instead  of  tfie 
native  forms  (e.g.,  Griiss  Gotf),  and  had  an  anti-Semitic  under- 
tone. It  required  little  manipulation  to  transform  all  these 
things  into  the  Nazi  practices  now  current. 


18  MEIN  KAMPF 

The  fate  of  this  State  is  so  closely  bound  up  with  the  life 
and  growth  of  the  entire  German  nationality  that  it  is 
unthinkable  to  separate  its  history  into  German  and 
Austrian.  As  a  matter  of  fact  when  Germany  began  to 
split  into  two  supreme  powers,  this  very  separation  became 
German  history. 

The  imperial  crown  jewels  kept  in  Vienna,  reminders  of 
the  old  realm  splendor,  still  seem  to  exercise  a  magic  spell, 
a  pledge  of  eternal  communion. 

The  German-Austrian's  elementary  outcry  for  a  reunion 
with  the  German  motherland  during  the  days  of  the  break- 
down of  the  Habsburg  State  was  merely  the  result  of  a 
feeling  of  nostalgia  slumbering  deep  in  the  hearts  of  the 
entire  nation  for  a  return  to  the  paternal  home  which  had 
never  been  forgotten.  This  would  be  inexplicable  had  not 
the  political  education  of  each  individual  German-Austrian 
been  the  origin  of  that  common  longing.  In  it  there  lies  a 
longing  which  contains  a  well  that  never  dries,  especially 
in  time  of  forgetfulness  and  of  temporary  well-being  it 
will  again  and  again  forecast  the  future  in  recalling  the 
past. 

Even  today,  courses  in  world  history  in  the  so-called 
secondary  schools  are  still  badly  neglected.  Few  teachers 
realize  that  the  aim  of  history  lessons  should  not  consist  in 
the  memorizing  and  rattling  forth  of  historical  facts  and 
data;  that  it  does  not  matter  whether  a  boy  knows  when 
this  or  that  battle  was  fought,  when  a  certain  military 
leader  was  born,  or  when  some  monarch  (in  most  cases  a 
very  mediocre  one)  was  crowned  with  the  crown  of  his  an- 
cestors. Good  God,  these  things  do  not  matter. 

To  'learn'  history  means  to  search  for  and  to  find  the 
forces  which  cause  those  effects  which  we  later  face  as 
historical  events. 

Here,  too,  the  art  of  reading,  like  that  of  learning,  is  to 
remember  the  important,  to  forget  the  unimportant. 


AT  HOME  19 

It  was  perhaps  decisive  for  my  entire  future  life  that  I 
was  fortunate  enough  to  have  a  history  teacher  who  was 
one  of  the  few  who  understood  how  essential  it  was  to  make 
this  the  dominating  factor  in  his  lessons  and  examinations. 
At  the  Realschule  in  Linz  my  teacher  was  Professor  Doctor 
Ludwig  Poetsch,  who  personified  this  requisite  in  an  ideal 
way.  The  old  gentleman,  whose  manner  was  as  kind  as 
it  was  firm,  not  only  knew  how  to  keep  us  spellbound,  but 
actually  carried  us  away  with  the  splendor  of  his  eloquence. 
I  am  still  slightly  moved  when  I  remember  the  gray-haired 
man  whose  fiery  descriptions  made  us  forget  the  present 
and  who  evoked  plain  historical  facts  out  of  the  fog  of  the 
centuries  and  turned  them  into  living  reality.  Often  we 
would  sit  there  enraptured  in  enthusiasm  and  there  were 
even  times  when  we  were  on  the  verge  of  tears. 

Our  happiness  was  the  greater  inasmuch  as  this  teacher 
not  only  knew  how  to  throw  light  on  the  past  by  utilizing 
the  present,  but  also  how  to  draw  conclusions  from  the  past 
and  applying  them  to  the  present.  More  than  anyone  else 
he  showed  understanding  for  all  the  daily  problems  which 
held  us  breathless  at  the  time.  He  used  our  youthful  na- 

The  educational  ideas  here  expressed  are  in  part  the  common 
property  of  all  who  have  gone  to  school  and  in  part  the  legacy 
of  Turnvater  Jahn,  the  founder  of  the  Turnvereine,  or  gymnas- 
tic societies,  whose  Deutsches  Volkstum  (German  Folkishness) 
appeared  in  1810,  and  whose  part  in  rallying  Prussian  youth 
against  Napoleon  was  a  most  estimable  one.  When  Hitler 
speaks  of  the  girl  who  ought  to  remember  that  her  duty  is  to 
become  a  German  mother,  or  of  history  as  the  science  which 
demonstrates  that  one's  own  people  is  always  right,  he  is 
echoing  Jahn  in  the  first  instance.  The  best  discussion  in  Eng- 
lish of  this  interesting  pedagogue  is  still  an  essay  which  appeared 
in  the  London  Magazine  during  1820,  when  these  new  Prussian 
ideas  of  education  seemed  important  but  strange  to  English- 
men. 


20  MEIN  KAMPF 

tional  fanaticism  as  a  means  of  education  by  repeatedly 
appealing  to  our  sense  of  national  honor,  and  through  this 
alone  he  was  able  to  manage  us  rascals  more  easily  than 
would  have  been  possible  by  any  other  means. 

He  was  the  teacher  who  made  history  my  favorite  sub- 
ject. 

Nevertheless,  although  it  was  entirely  unintentional  on 
his  part,  I  already  then  became  a  young  revolutionary. 

Who  could  possibly  study  German  history  with  such  a 
teacher  and  not  become  an  enemy  of  the  State  which, 
through  its  ruling  dynasty,  so  disastrously  influenced  the 
state  of  the  nation? 

And  who  could  keep  faith  with  an  imperial  dynasty  which 
betrayed  the  cause  of  the  German  people  for  its  own  ig- 
nominious ends,  a  betrayal  that  occurred  again  and  again 
in  the  past  and  in  the  present? 

Boys  though  we  were,  did  we  not  already  realize  that  this 
Austrian  State  did  not  and  could  not  harbor  love  for  us 
Germans? 

Our  historical  knowledge  of  the  influence  of  the  House 
of  Habsburg  was  supported  by  daily  experiences.  In  the 
North  and  the  South  the  poison  of  foreign  nationalities 

This  is  probably  one  of  the  most  revealing  passages  in  the 
book.  Hitler  has  consistently  considered  himself  a  'Revolu- 
tionary,' but  has  added  little  to  the  interpretation  of  the  term 
given  here.  The  longing  to  change  the  structure  of  society  de- 
veloped, in  his  case,  not  out  of  the  consciousness  of  real  or  fan- 
cied social  and  economic  injustices,  but  out  of  the  feeling  that 
the  Ruling  House  did  not  adequately  support  the  demands  of 
the  German  groups.  After  the  War  he  took  an  identical  point 
of  view  in  Germany  itself,  laying  siege  to  the  Weimar  Republic 
because  its  policy  of  international  conciliation  seemed  to  him  a 
duplicate  of  the  policy  of  making  concessions  to  Slavic  groups 
which  Habsburg  governments  had  sponsored.  Cf .  Adolf  Hitter, 
by  Theodor  Heuss  (1932). 


AT  HOME  21 

eroded  the  body  of  our  own  nationality,  and  it  was  apparent 
how  even  Vienna  became  less  and  less  a  German  city.  The 
Royal  House  became  Czech  wherever  possible,  and  it  must 
have  been  the  hand  of  the  goddess  of  eternal  justice  and 
inexorable  retribution  which  caused  Archduke  Franz 
Ferdinand,  the  most  deadly  enemy  of  Austrian-Germanism, 
to  fall  by  the  very  bullets  he  himself  had  helped  to  mold. 
For  was  he  not  the  patron  of  Austria's  Slavization  from 
above ! 

The  burdens  which  the  German  people  had  to  bear  were 
enormous,  its  sacrifices  in  taxes  and  blood  unheard  of,  and 
yet,  everyone  who  had  eyes  to  see  realized  that  all  this 
would  IDC  in  vain.  What  grieved  us  most  was  the  fact  that 
the  whole  system  was  morally  protected  by  the  alliance  with 
Germany,  and  thus  Germany  herself,  in  a  fashion,  sanc- 
tioned the  slow  extermination  of  the  German  nationality 
in  the  old  monarchy.  The  hypocrisy  of  the  Habsburgs,  who 
knew  well  how  to  create  the  impression  abroad  that  Austria 
was  still  a  German  State,  fanned  the  hatred  against  this 
house  into  flaming  indignation  and  contempt. 

It  was  only  in  the  Reich  itself  that  the  'chosen  ones'  saw 
nothing  of  all  this.  As  if  stricken  with  blindness,  they 
walked  by  the  side  of  the  corpse,  and  in  the  indications  of 
decomposition  they  thought  they  detected  signs  of  'new' 
life. 

The  tragic  alliance  between  the  young  Reich  and  the  old 
Austrian  sham  State  was  the  source  of  the  ensuing  World 
War  and  of  the  general  collapse  as  well. 

In  the  course  of  this  book  I  shall  find  it  necessary  to  deal 
further  with  this  problem.  It  suffices  to  state  here  that  from 
my  earliest  youth  I  came  to  a  conviction  which  never  de- 
serted me,  but  on  the  contrary,  grew  stronger  and  stronger: 

That  the  protection  of  the  German  race  presumed  the  destruc- 
tion  of  Austria,  and  further,  that  national  feeling  is  in  no  way 
identical  with  dynastic  patriotism;  that  above  all  else,  the 


22  MEIN  KAMPF 

Royal  House  of  Habsburg  was  destined  to  bring  misfortune 
upon  the  German  nation. 

Even  then  I  had  drawn  the  necessary  deductions  from 
this  realization:  an  intense  love  for  my  native  German- 

The  picture  Hitler  draws  of  his  early  youth  is,  therefore,  one 
of  idle  years  spent  fighting  off  formal  education  under  the  pre- 
text that  he  wanted  to  become  an  artist.  That  he  has  ever 
since  considered  himself  brilliantly  gifted  as  a  painter  and  archi- 
tect is  indubitable.  The  flags,  uniforms  and  insignia  of  the 
Party  were  designed  by  him.  The  'senate  chamber*  and  study 
in  the  Brown  House,  Munich,  are  proudly  displayed  as  exam- 
ples of  the  Fuhrcr's  (Leader's)  work.  In  the  first,  which  is 
primarily  a  study  in  red  leather,  the  swastika  serves  as  an  al- 
lusion to  the  SPQR  of  ancient  Rome.  Later  on  his  views  were 
influenced  by  his  Bavarian  environment,  more  particularly  it 
would  seem  by  the  art  theories  of  Schulze-Naumburg,  who  in 
the  Thuringia  of  1930  led  the  attack  on  modernistic  art  and 
architecture. 

During  1937  Munich  was  stirred  by  an  exposition  of  'De- 
generate Art,'  which  gathered  from  the  museums  pictures  ad- 
judged not  to  be  in  the  strict  Aryan  tradition.  Meanwhile 
there  had  been  erected  in  the  same  city  a  Kunsthalle  adorned 
with  a  row  of  simple  classical  pillars;  and  this  structure  is 
generally  accepted  as  embodying  Hitler's  ideal  of  what  a  build- 
ing ought  to  be.  The  example  of  Mussolini  also  had  its  effect. 
In  order  to  provide  a  suitable  approach  to  the  Kunsthalle,  one 
of  King  Ludwig's  ancient  streets  was  torn  down  and  widened. 
Down  this  avenue,  festooned  with  countless  flags  and  abundant 
drapery,  II  Duce  proceeded  upon  the  occasion  of  his  historic 
trip  to  Munich  in  1937. 

More  recently  the  new  Chancellery  in  Berlin  has  been  com- 
pleted. A  skyscraper,  taller  than  any  in  New  York,  was  pro- 
jected for  Hamburg.  Hitler  is  also  known  to  have  devised 
models  of  a  Vienna  and  Berlin  reconstructed  according  to  his 
ideas  of  what  a  city  ought  to  be.  Enormous  sums  have  already 
been  diverted  into  building  operations. 


AT  HOME  S3 

Austrian  country  and  a  bitter  hatred  against  the  'Austrian* 
State. 


The  art  of  historical  thinking,  which  had  been  taught  me 
in  school,  has  never  left  me  since.  More  and  more,  world 
history  became  a  never-failing  source  of  my  understanding 
of  the  historical  events  of  the  present,  that  is,  politics.  What 
is  more,  I  do  not  want  to  '  learn  '  it,  but  I  want  it  to  teach 
me. 

Since  I  had  become  a  political  'revolutionary'  at  so  early 
a  stage,  it  was  not  much  later  that  I  became  an  'artistic' 
one. 

At  that  time  the  capital  of  Upper  Austria  had  a  theater  of 
fairly  high  standing.  Almost  everything  was  performed 
there.  At  the  age  of  twelve  I  saw  'Wilhelm  Tell'  for  the 
first  time,  and  a  few  months  later,  I  saw  the  first  opera  of 
my  life,  4  Lohengrin.'  I  was  captivated  at  once.  My  youth- 
ful enthusiasm  for  the  master  of  Bayreuth  knew  no  bounds. 
Again  and  again  I  was  drawn  to  his  works  and  today  I  con- 
sider it  particularly  fortunate  that  the  modesty  of  that 
provincial  performance  reserved  for  me  the  opportunity  of 
seeing  increasingly  better  productions. 

All  this  served  to  confirm  my  deep-rooted  aversion  for 
the  career  my  father  had  chosen  for  me,  especially  after  I 
had  left  childhood  behind  and  approached  manhood  —  a 
painful  experience.  I  was  more  definitely  convinced  that  I 
could  never  be  happy  as  an  official.  And  now  that  my  talent 
for  drawing  had  also  been  recognized  in  school,  my  resolve 
was  even  more  firmly  established. 

Neither  pleas  nor  threats  could  influence  me. 

I  wanted  to  become  a  painter,  and  no  power  on  earth 
could  ever  make  an  official  of  me. 

But  it  was  strange  that  as  the  years  passed,  I  demon- 
strated more  and  more  interest  in  architecture.  At  that 


24  MEIN  KAMPF 

time  I  took  it  for  granted  that  this  was  merely  an  augmen- 
tation of  my  talent  for  painting  and  secretly  I  was  delighted 
at  this  widening  of  my  artistic  horizon. 

I  had  no  idea  that  things  were  to  turn  out  so  differently. 


The  question  of  my  career  was  to  be  settled  more  quickly 
than  I  had  anticipated. 

When  I  was  thirteen  my  father  died  quite  suddenly.  The 
old  gentleman,  who  had  always  been  so  robust  and  healthy, 
had  a  stroke  which  painlessly  ended  his  wanderings  in  this 
world,  plunging  us  all  in  the  depths  of  despair.  His  dearest 
wish,  to  help  his  son  to  build  up  his  existence,  thus  safe- 
guarding him  against  the  pitfalls  of  his  own  bitter  experi- 
ence, had  apparently  not  been  fulfilled.  But  unconsciously 
he  had  sown  the  seed  for  a  future  which  neither  he  nor  I 
would  have  grasped  at  that  time. 

At  first  nothing  changed  in  my  daily  life. 

My  mother  probably  felt  the  obligation  to  continue  my 
education  in  accordance  with  my  father's  wishes,  in  other 
words,  to  have  me  continue  my  studies  for  the  career  of  an 
official.  But  I  was  determined  more  than  ever  not  to  be- 
come an  official.  My  attitude  became  more  and  more  in- 
different in  the  same  measure  that  the  subjects  and  the 
education  which  school  afforded  me  deviated  from  my  own 
ideal.  Suddenly  an  illness  came  to  my  aid,  and  in  the  course 
of  a  few  weeks,  settled  the  perpetual  arguments  at  home 
and,  with  them,  my  future.  Because  of  a  severe  pulmonary 
illness,  the  doctor  strongly  advised  my  mother  not  to  place 
me  in  an  office  later  on  under  any  circumstances.  I  was 
also  to  give  up  school  for  at  least  one  year.  With  this  event, 
all  that  I  had  fought  for,  all  that  I  had  longed  for  in  secret, 
suddenly  became  reality. 

Impressed  by  my  illness,  my  mother  agreed  at  long  last 
to  take  me  out  of  school  and  to  send  me  to  the  Akademie. 


AT  HOME  25 

These  were  my  happiest  days;  they  seemed  like  a  dream 
to  me,  and  so  they  were.  Two  years  later  my  mother's 
death  put  a  sudden  end  to  all  these  delightful  plans. 

It  was  the  end  of  a  long  and  painful  illness  that  had 
seemed  fatal  from  the  very  beginning.  Nevertheless  it  was 
a  terrible  shock  to  me.  I  had  respected  my  father,  but  I 
loved  my  mother. 

Necessity  and  stern  reality  now  forced  me  to  make  a 
quick  decision.  My  mother's  severe  illness  had  almost  ex- 
hausted the  meager  funds  left  by  my  father;  the  orphan's 
pension  which  I  received  was  not  nearly  enough  for  me  to 
live  on,  and  so  I  was  faced  with  the  problem  of  earning  my 
own  daily  bread. 

I  went  to  Vienna  with  a  suitcase,  containing  some  clothes 
and  my  linen,  in  my  hand  and  an  unshakable  determination 
in  my  heart.  I,  too,  hoped  to  wrest  from  Fate  the  success  my 
father  had  met  fifty  years  earlier;  I,  too,  wanted  to  become 
'something'  —  but  in  no  event  an  official. 


CHAPTER  II 

YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND 
SUFFERING  IN  VIENNA 


t%  ^W^  JTHEN  my  mother  died,  Fate  had  cast  the  die  in 
\J\X  one  direction  at  least. 

T  T  During  the  last  months  of  her  suffering,  I  had 
gone  to  Vienna  to  take  my  entrance  examination  to  the 
Akademic.  I  had  set  out  with  a  lot  of  drawings,  convinced 
that  I  would  pass  the  examination  with  ease.  At  the  Real- 
schulc  I  had  been  by  far  the  best  artist  in  my  class;  and 
since  then  my  ability  had  improved  greatly,  so  that  my  self- 
satisfaction  made  me  hope  both  proudly  and  happily  for 
the  best. 

There  was  but  one  cloud  which  occasionally  made  its  ap- 
pearance; my  talent  for  painting  sometimes  seemed  to  over- 
shadow my  ability  for  drawing,  especially  in  nearly  all  of 
the  branches  of  architecture.  Also  my  interest  in  the  art 
of  building  as  a  whole  grew  steadily.  This  was  stimulated, 
when  I  was  not  quite  sixteen,  by  the  fact  that  I  was  allowed 
for  the  first  time  to  spend  a  two  weeks'  vacation  in  Vienna. 
I  went  there  especially  to  study  the  picture  gallery  of  the 
Hofmuseum,  but  I  had  eyes  for  nothing  but  the  buildings 
of  the  museum  itself.  All  day  long,  from  early  morn  until 
late  at  night,  I  ran  from  one  sight  to  the  next,  for  what  at- 
tracted me  most  of  all  were  the  buildings.  For  hours  on  end 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          27 

I  would  stand  in  front  of  the  opera  or  admire  the  Parliament 
Building;  the  entire  Ringstrasse  affected  me  like  a  fairy  tale 
out  of  the  Arabian  Nights. 

And  now  I  was  in  this  beautiful  city  for  the  second  time, 
burning  with  impatience;  I  waited  with  pride  and  confi- 
dence to  learn  the  result  of  my  entrance  examination.  I  was 
so  convinced  of  my  success  that  the  announcement  of  my 
failure  came  like  a  bolt  from  the  blue.  And  yet  it  was  true. 
When  I  had  obtained  an  interview  with  the  director  and 
asked  him  to  explain  why  I  had  not  been  admitted  to  the 
general  painting  school  at  the  Akademie,  he  assured  me  that 
the  drawings  I  had  submitted  clearly  showed  my  lack  of 
painting  ability,  but  that  my  talents  obviously  lay  in  the 
field  of  architecture;  it  was  the  school  of  architecture  and 
not  the  school  of  painting  where  I  belonged.  They  could 
not  understand  why  I  had  not  attended  a  school  for  archi- 
tecture or  why  I  had  not  been  given  any  instruction  in  this  art. 

Downcast,  I  left  von  Hansen's  magnificent  building  on 
the  Schillerplatz,  dissatisfied  with  myself  for  the  first  time 
in  my  life.  What  I  had  been  told  about  my  ability  was  like 
a  bright  flash  of  lightning  which  seemed  to  illuminate  a  dis- 
sonance from  which  I  had  long  suffered,  but  as  yet  I  had  not 
been  able  to  give  myself  a  clear  account  of  its  wherefore  and 
whyfore. 

A  few  days  later  I,  too,  knew  that  I  would  become  an 
architect. 

However,  the  way  was  to  be  an  extremely  difficult  one, 
for  all  that  which  I  had  stubbornly  neglected  at  the  Real- 
schule  was  to  take  its  vengeance  now.  The  admission  to  the 
school  of  architecture  of  the  Akademie  was  dependent  on 
attendance  at  the  Polytechnic's  building  school,  and  admis- 
sion to  this  was  only  possible  after  having  received  a  certifi- 
cate of  maturity  at  a  secondary  school.  I  was  without  all 
this.  In  all  human  probability  it  seemed  as  though  the 
realization  of  my  artist  dreams  was  no  longer  possible. 


28  MEIN  KAMPF 

When,  after  my  mother's  death,  I  went  to  Vienna  for 
the  third  time  and  this  time  to  remain  there  for  many  years, 
I  had  in  the  meantime  regained  my  peace  and  my  confi- 
dence. My  former  obstinacy  had  returned  and  my  goal  was 
finally  fixed  before  my  eyes.  I  wanted  to  become  an  archi- 
tect, and  one  should  not  submit  to  obstacles  but  overcome 
them.  And  I  would  overcome  these  obstacles,  always  bear- 
ing in  mind  my  father's  example,  who,  from  being  a  poor 
village  boy  and  a  cobbler's  apprentice,  had  made  his  way 
up  to  the  position  of  civil  servant.  Now  I  was  on  surer 
ground  and  the  chances  for  the  struggle  were  better;  what  I 
then  looked  upon  as  the  cruelty  of  Fate,  I  praise  today  as 
the  wisdom  of  Providence.  When  the  Goddess  of  Misery 
took  me  into  her  arms  more  than  once  and  threatened  to 


Hitler's  mother  died  on  December  21,  1908,  leaving  him  vir- 
tually penniless.  He  left  Vienna  again  in  the  spring  of  1912. 
During  the  period  intervening,  he  lived  generally  in  the  Refuge 
for  Men,  in  Vienna-Brigittenau,  Information  concerning  his 
activities  has  been  supplied  by  various  people  who  then  knew 
him,  primarily  Rudolf  Hanisch,  a  designer,  whose  memoirs  have 
been  evaluated  by  Heiden.  It  is  often  difficult  to  determine 
whether  these  traditions  are  historically  accurate,  since  the 
Hitler  of  Vienna  days  was  a  bit  of  human  flotsam  who  in  addi- 
tion kept  pretty  much  to  himself.  But  we  know  that  he  slept 
in  a  ward  with  other  derelicts,  that  he  was  fed  at  the  gate  of 
the  monastery  in  the  Gumpendorferstrasse;  that  in  winter  he 
earned  an  occasional  schilling  with  a  snow  shovel;  and  that  he 
drew  little  water-colors  and  sketches  whicii  Hanisch  peddled 
around  at  the  humbler  art  shops.  It  has  been  proved  that  at 
the  time  he  had  Jewish  acquaintances  and  a  number  of  Jewish 
friends.  More  important,  however,  is  the  fact  that  he  spent 
much  time  in  the  cafes,  reading  the  newspapers  constantly 
available  there.  He  was  never,  then,  a  'house  painter,1  but 
remained  a  young  man  with  a  poor  scholastic  record  who  had 
time  to  read  political  journalism. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  29 

crush  me,  the  will  to  resist  grew  and  was  finally  victorious. 
I  owe  much  to  the  time  in  which  I  had  learned  to  become 
hard  and  also  that  I  know  now  how  to  be  hard.  I  praise  it 
even  more  for  having  rescued  me  from  the  emptiness  of  an 
easy  life,  that  it  took  the  milksop  out  of  his  downy  nest  and 
gave  him  Dame  Sorrow  for  a  foster  mother,  that  it  threw 
him  out  into  the  world  of  misery  and  poverty,  tnus  making 
him  acquainted  with  those  for  whom  he  was  later  to  fight. 


During  this  time  my  eyes  were  to  be  opened  to  two  dan- 
gers which  hitherto  I  had  barely  known  by  name ;  but  I  did 
not  perceive  their  terrible  bearing  upon  the  existence  of  the 
German  race  to  its  fullest  extent. 

Vienna,  the  city  that  to  so  many  represents  the  idea  of 
harmless  gaiety,  the  festive  place  for  merry-making,  is  to 
me  only  the  living  memory  of  the  most  miserable  time  of 
my  life. 

Even  today  it  can  waken  only  depressing  thoughts  in  my 
mind.  The  name  of  this  Phaeacian  city  means  five  years  of 
sorrow  and  misery.  Five  years  in  which  I  had  to  make  my 
living,  first  as  a  worker,  then  as  a  painter;  a  truly  scanty 
living,  for  it  was  barely  enough  to  appease  even  my  daily 
hunger.  Hunger  was  then  my  faithful  guard;  he  was  the 
only  friend  who  never  left  me,  who  shared  everything  with 
me  honestly.  Every  book  I  bought  aroused  his  sympathy; 
a  visit  to  the  opera  made  him  my  companion  for  days;  it 
was  a  constant  struggle  with  a  pitiless  friend.  And  yet,  dur- 
ing this  time,  I  learned  as  I  had  never  learned  before.  Apart 
from  my  interest  in  architecture  and  my  visits  to  the  opera 
for  which  I  had  to  stint  myself,  books  were  my  only  pleasure. 

At  that  time  I  read  endlessly,  but  thoroughly.  The  spare 
time  my  work  left  to  me  I  spent  entirely  in  study.  So  in  a 
few  years  I  built  a  foundation  of  knowledge  from  which  I 
still  draw  nourishment  today. 


30  MEIN  KAMPF 

But  much  more  than  that. 

At  that  time  I  formed  an  image  of  the  world  and  a  vie* 
of  life  which  became  the  granite  foundation  for  my  actions. 
I  have  had  to  add  but  little  to  that  which  I  had  learned  then 
and  I  have  had  to  change  nothing. 

On  the  contrary. 

Today  it  is  my  firm  belief  that  in  general  all  creative 
ideas  appear  in  youth,  provided  they  are  present  at  all. 
Here  I  distinguish  between  the  wisdom  of  old  age,  which, 
as  the  result  of  the  experiences  of  a  long  life,  is  of  value  only 
in  the  form  of  a  greater  thoroughness  and  carefulness  as 
contrasted  with  the  genius  of  youth  whose  inexhaustible 
fertility  pours  forth  thoughts  and  ideas  without  being  able 
to  digest  them  because  of  their  abundance.  Youth  fur- 
nishes the  building  material  and  the  plans  for  the  future; 
maturity  takes  and  cuts  the  stones  and  constructs  the  build- 
ing, provided  the  so-called  wisdom  of  old  age  has  not  suf- 
focated the  genius  of  youth. 


The  life  I  had  known  in  my  father's  house  showed  little 
or  no  difference  from  that  of  other  people.  I  looked  forward 
to  each  new  day  without  a  care  and  social  problems  were  un- 
known to  me.  The  surroundings  of  my  childhood  were  the 
circles  of  the  bourgeoisie,  a  world  which  had  but  very  few 
connections  with  the  working  classes.  Though  at  first  sight 

Here  Hitler  describes  very  well  the  feeling  which  was  later 
on  to  swell  the  ranks  of  the  National-Socialist  Party.  'The 
bourgeois  and  peasant  middle  classes  still  constitute  forty-five 
per  cent  of  the  total  population  of  Germany ,'  wrote  Guenter 
Keiser  in  June,  1931.  'Today  they  have  a  mass  movement,  the 
beginnings  of  a  program,  the  nucleus  of  a  leadership,  a  firm 
determination  to  have  their  way,  a  contagious  activism,  and 
a  myth  —  of  the  Third  Reich.  All  these  things  are  necessary 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  31 

it  may  seem  absurd,  yet  the  difference  between  these  two, 
unfavored  as  they  are  by  economic  conditions,  is  greater 
than  one  realizes.  The  reason  for  that  which  one  could  al- 
most call  'hostility*  is  the  fact  that  a  social  class,  which  has 
only  recently  worked  its  way  up  from  the  level  of  manual 
labor,  fears  to  fall  back  into  the  old,  but  little  esteemed, 
class,  or  at  least  fears  being  counted  in  with  that  class.  In 
addition  many  remember  with  disgust  the  misery  existing 
in  the  lower  class;  the  frequent  brutality  of  their  daily  social 
contacts;  their  own  position  in  society,  however  small  it 
may  be,  makes  every  contact  with  the  state  of  life  and 
culture,  which  they  in  turn  have  left  behind,  unbearable. 

This  explains  why  members  of  the  higher  social  class  can 
frequently  lower  themselves  to  the  humblest  of  their  fellow 

outgrowths  of  historical  development  and  cannot  be  disposed 
of  with  an  allusion  to  "  demagogues."  These  masses  are  neither 
pro-  nor  anti-capitalistic.  They  are  opposed  to  certain  especial 
aspects  of  high  capitalism  and  to  certain  particular  ways  in 
which  capitalism  manifests  itself.  Before  the  War . . .  the 
handicrafts  prospered,  retail  merchants  profited  by  reason  of 
expanding  markets,  and  the  peasants  were  benefited  by  the 
rise  in  the  standard  of  living.  But  today,  inside  the  far  narrower 
boundaries  of  the  post- War  economy,  the  expansionist  impulse 
latent  in  capitalism  is  carrying  that  capitalism  into  the  dis- 
tribution process.  Department  stores,  branch  concerns,  ten- 
cent  stores,  direct  sales  by  the  manufacturer,  etc.,  are  now  nor- 
mal. Technical  progress  is  also  making  it  possible  to  organize 
on  a  wholesale,  capitalistic  basis  what  until  now  have  been 
typical  handicraft  industries,  e.g.,  baking,  butchering,  tailor- 
ing, building. . . .  Finally,  the  more  bureaucratic  the  corpo- 
rative enterprise  becomes,  the  more  dependent  does  the  status 
of  its  white-collar  employee  become.  That  is  the  economic 
fundament  upon  which  National  Socialism  rests.  The  middle 
classes,  the  peasants,  and  the  white-collar  employees  want  the 
economic  situation  which  existed  in  pre-War  days:  —  a  healthy 


32  MEIN  KAMPF 

beings  with  less  embarrassment  than  seems  possible  to  the 
'upstarts/ 

For  an  upstart  is  anyone  who,  through  his  own  energy, 
works  his  way  up  from  his  previous  social  position  to  a 
higher  one. 

Finally,  this  relentless  struggle  kills  all  pity.  One's  own 
painful  scramble  for  existence  suffocates  the  feeling  of  sym- 
pathy for  the  misery  of  those  left  behind. 

In  this  respect  Fate  took  pity  on  me.  By  forcing  me  back 
into  this  world  of  poverty  and  uncertainty,  a  world  from 
which  my  father  had  emerged  in  the  course  of  his  own  life, 
the  blinders  which  a  narrow  bourgeois  education  had  given 
me  were  cast  off.  It  was  only  now  that  I  learned  to  know 
man;  I  learned  to  distinguish  between  sham  or  the  brutal 
appearance  of  human  lives  and  their  inner  being.  •*• 


At  the  turn  of  the  century  Vienna  was  already  a  city  with 
unfavorable  social  conditions. 

Glamorous  wealth  and  repulsive  poverty  were  mixed  in 
sharp  contrast.  In  the  heart  of  the  city  and  in  the  inner  dis- 
tricts, one  could  well  feel  the  pulse  of  a  realm  of  fifty-two 
million  people,  for  all  its  doubtful  charm,  as  a  State  of  na- 
tionalities. Like  a  magnet,  the  Court  with  all  its  brilliant 

balance  between  big  and  little  industry,  and  between  agricul- 
ture and  industry  as  a  whole.  Therefore  they  are  against  "High 
Capitalism"  and  "Marxism"  alike.  The  second  is  held  to  en- 
courage competition  through  fostering  the  development  of 
co-operatives,  and  accused,  beyond  that,  of  having  helped  the 
worker  to  climb  the  social  ladder  faster  than  the  other  classes 
—  an  insupportable  fact.'  (Cf.  Neue  Blaetter  fuer  den  Sozial- 
ismus,  Vol.  II,  nr.  6.)  The  list  of  Nazis  who  fell  during  the 
putsch  of  1923  is  a  striking  demonstration  of  all  this.  It  in- 
cludes intellectuals,  white-collar  employees,  students  and  arti- 
sans, but  no  workers.  And,  of  course,  no  'capitalists.' 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          33 

splendor  attracted  the  wealth  and  intelligence  from  the  rest 
of  the  State.  To  this  was  added  the  strong  centralizing 
policy  of  the  Habsburg  monarchy  in  itself. 

This  offered  the  only  possibility  of  keeping  this  porridge 
of  nations  together.  The  result,  however,  was  a  concentra- 
tion of  the  higher  and  highest  authorities  in  the  capital  and 
Court  city. 

But  Vienna  was  not  only  politically  and  intellectually, 
but  also  economically,  the  center  of  the  old  Danubian  mon- 
archy. The  host  of  high  officers,  civil  servants,  artists  and 
savants  was  confronted  by  a  still  greater  number  of  workers; 
the  wealth  of  aristocracy  and  commerce  was  contrasted  with 
a  dismal  poverty.  Thousands  of  unemployed  loitered  about 
in  front  of  the  palaces  in  the  Ringstrasse,  and  below  that 
via  triumphalis  of  the  old  Austria,  in  the  twilight  and  the 
mud  of  the  canals,  the  homeless  sought  shelter. 

There  was  hardly  any  other  German  city  where  social 
questions  could  have  been  studied  better  than  in  Vienna. 
But  we  must  not  deceive  ourselves.  This  *  study '  cannot  be 
carried  out  from  above.  Those  who  have  never  felt  the  grip 
of  this  murderous  viper  will  never  know  its  poisonous  fangs. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  result  is  nothing  but  a  superficial 
babbling  or  hypocritical  sentimentality.  Both  are  equally 
evil.  The  first,  because  it  never  penetrates  into  the  nucleus 
of  the  problem;  the  second,  because  it  passes  it  by.  I  do  not 
know  which  is  worse:  the  ignoring  of  the  social  misery  by 
the  majority  of  the  fortunate,  or  by  those  who  have  risen 
through  their  own  efforts,  as  we  see  it  daily,  or  the  graciously 
patronizing  attitudes  of  a  certain  part  of  the  fashionable 
world  (both  in  skirts  and  trousers)  whose  4  sympathy  for  the 
people1  is  at  times  as  haughty  as  it  is  obtrusive  and  tactless. 
These  people  do  more  harm  than  their  brains,  lacking  in  all 
instinct,  are  capable  of  imagining.  Therefore  they  are  as- 
tonished to  find  that  the  response  to  their  helpful  social 
'disposition'  is  always  nil  and  frequently  causes  indignation 


34  MEIN  KAMPF 

and  antagonism ;  this,  of  course,  is  taken  to  prove  the  peo- 
ple's ingratitude. 

These  minds  fail  to  see  that  social  work  has  nothing  to  do 
with  this:  that  above  all  it  must  not  expect  gratitude,  since  it 
should  not  deal  out  favors  but  restore  rights. 

I  was  prevented  from  learning  the  social  question  in  this 
fashion.  Because  I  was  drawn  into  the  confines  of  its  suffer- 
ing, it  seemed  to  invite  me  not  to  4  learn/  but  rather  to  use 
me  for  experimentation.  It  was  none  of  its  doing  that  the 
guinea  pig  recovered  from  the  operation. 


t  If  I  were  to  try  now  to  describe  chronologically  my  vari- 
ous stages  of  feeling,  I  could  never  fully  accomplish  it;  I 
wish  to  present  only  those  impressions  which  seemed  most 
important  and  frequently  those  most  moving  for  me,  to- 
gether with  the  few  lessons  they  had  given  me  then. 


In  general,  I  did  not  find  it  very  difficult  to  secure  work, 
because  I  was  not  a  skilled  laborer,  but  only  a  handy  man, 
and  I  had  to  earn  my  living  by  doing  occasional  work. 

I  had  the  point  of  view  of  all  those  who  wish  to  shake 
Europe's  dust  from  their  feet  with  the  firm  resolve  to  create 
a  new  existence  in  the  new  world,  to  conquer  a  new  home- 
land. Severed  from  all  the  paralyzing  conceptions  of  class 
and  profession,  of  surrounding  and  tradition,  they  seize  any 
opportunity  which  is  offered,  take  any  kind  of  work,  and 
gradually  they  come  to  realize  that  honest  work  is  no  dis- 
grace no  matter  what  it  may  be.  So  I,  too,  had  resolved  to 
jump  with  both  feet  into  the  new  world  and  to  fight  my 
way  through. 

I  soon  learned  that  there  is  always  work  to  be  found  and 
that  it  is  lost  just  as  easily. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  35 

The  uncertainty  of  earning  one's  daily  bread  seemed  to 
me  to  be  the  darkest  side  of  my  new  life. 

Of  course  the  'skilled'  worker  is  not  dismissed  quite  so 
frequently  as  the  unskilled;  but  even  he  is  not  completely 
protected  against  such  a  fate.  Instead  of  losing  his  income 
because  of  a  shortage  of  work,  he  is  confronted  with  a  lock- 
out or  a  strike  of  his  own  choosing. 

Here  the  uncertainty  of  the  daily  income  takes  its  most 
bitter  revenge  on  the  whole  of  economic  life. 

The  farmer's  boy  who  comes  to  town,  attracted  by  easier 
work,  be  it  real  or  imaginary,  by  the  shorter  working  hours, 
but  most  of  all  by  the  dazzling  bright  lights  which  the  city 
sheds  forth,  is  still  accustomed  to  a  certain  security  of  in- 
come. He  usually  only  gives  up  his  job  if  there  is  at  least 
another  in  sight.  Finally,  the  shortage  of  farm  hands  is 
great  and  therefore  the  probability  of  long  periods  of  un- 
employment is  very  slight.  It  is  a  mistake  to  assume  that 
the  young  people  who  come  to  town  are  of  inferior  material 
to  those  who  continue  making  their  living  by  cultivating  the 
soil.  No,  on  the  contrary:  experience  teaches  that  all  migra- 
tory individuals  consist  of  energetic  and  healthy  elements 
rather  than  the  reverse.  But  among  those  *  immigrants' 
one  counts  not  only  the  American  immigrant,  but  also  the 
young  farmer  boy  who  makes  up  his  mind  to  leave  his  na- 
tive village  to  come  to  town.  He,  too,  is  ready  to  chance  an 
uncertain  destiny.  Frequently  he  brings  a  little  money 
with  him  to  the  big  city  so  that  he  need  not  despair  the  very 
first  day  if  he  has  had  no  luck  in  finding  work  for  a  pro- 
longed period  of  time.  But  the  situation  is  more  difficult 
when  shortly  thereafter  he  has  to  give  up  the  job  that  he 
found.  It  is  especially  hard  in  winter,  if  not  almost  impossi- 
ble, to  find  a  new  home.  The  first  few  weeks  may  go  well 
enough.  He  draws  relief  from  the  treasury  of  his  union  and 
he  manages  as  best  he  can.  But  once  he  has  spent  his  last 
cent  and  in  consequence  of  his  long  period  of  unemployment 


36  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  treasury  suspends  its  relief  payments,  then  the  distress 
becomes  great.  Now  he  loiters  about  hungrily,  he  pawns  or 
sells  the  last  of  his  belongings,  his  clothes  get  shabbier  day 
by  day,  and  he  sinks  into  surroundings  which,  apart  from 
the  material  misery  he  experiences,  also  poison  his  spirit. 
If  then  he  becomes  homeless,  and  if  this  happens  (as  is  often 
the  case)  in  winter,  then  his  misery  becomes  acute.  Finally 
he  finds  work  of  some  kind.  But  the  game  repeats  itself. 
He  is  hit  the  same  way  a  second  time,  a  third  time  perhaps 
more  severely,  so  that  by  and  by  he  learns  to  endure  the  un- 
certainty of  life  with  indifference.  Finally  the  repetition  be- 
comes a  habit. 

Thus  the  entire  concept  of  life  of  a  fellow  who  is  other- 
wise industrious  is  demoralized  and  he  is  gradually  trans- 
formed into  a  tool  for  those  who  use  him  for  their  own  ends. 
He  has  been  out  of  work  so  many  times  through  no  fault  of 
his  own  that  one  time  more  or  less  no  longer  matters;  it 
may  be  no  longer  a  question  of  fighting  for  economic  rights, 
but  the  destruction  of  political,  social,  or  cultural  values  in 
general.  Though  he  may  not  like  strikes,  he  is  probably  in- 
different to  them. 

I  was  able  to  observe  this  process  with  my  own  eyes  in 
thousands  of  cases.  The  longer  I  observed  the  game,  the 
more  my  aversion  grew  against  the  metropolis  which  so 
greedily  sucked  the  people  in  only  to  destroy  them. 

When  they  arrived,  they  still  belonged  to  their  people; 
if  they  remained,  they  were  lost  to  them. 

I  had  been  knocked  about  by  my  life  in  the  metropolis  in 
a  similar  manner  and  I  was  able  to  test  the  effect  of  such  a 
fate  on  my  own  person  and  to  experience  it  spiritually.  I 
saw  one  thing  more  there:  the  rapid  change  from  working 
to  unemployment  and  vice  versa;  the  repeated  changes  in 
income  and  expenditure  destroyed  in  many  people  the  de- 
sire for  saving  and  the  realization  of  a  balanced  mode  of 
living.  The  body  apparently  becomes  accustomed  to  good 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  37 

living  in  times  of  plenty  and  to  going  hungry  in  times  of 
need.  Even  in  times  of  better  income,  hunger  often  over- 
throws every  resolve  for  a  future  balanced  distribution,  for, 
like  a  perpetual  mirage,  hunger  conjures  up  before  the  eyes 
of  its  victim  visions  of  a  life  of  abundance  and  embellishes 
his  dream  until  such  a  state  of  longing  is  achieved  that  it 
puts  an  end  to  all  self-denial  once  earnings  and  income  per- 
mit it.  This  is  the  reason  why  a  laborer,  as  soon  as  he  has 
found  work,  forgets  to  budget  intelligently  and  becomes  a 
spendthrift  instead.  This  even  leads  to  discarding  the  small 
household  budget,  because  even  here  wise  distribution  is 
neglected;  in  the  beginning  there  may  be  enough  for  five 
days  out  of  seven,  later  only  for  three,  finally  hardly  enough 
for  one  day,  and  at  last  the  money  is  spent  on  the  very  first 
night. 

At  home  there  are  often  wife  and  children.  Sometimes 
they  are  drawn  into  this  sort  of  life,  especially  if  the  man 
treats  them  well  on  the  whole  and  loves  them  after  a  fashion. 
Then  the  weekly  salary  is  spent  jointly  at  home  during  the 
first  two  or  three  days;  they  eat  and  drink  as  long  as  there 
is  some  money  left,  and  the  remaining  days  of  the  week  are 
spent  in  hunger.  Then  the  wife  sneaks  away  into  the  neigh- 
borhood and  the  surroundings,  borrowing  a  little,  making 
small  debts  at  the  grocer's  so  that  the  remaining  lean  days 
can  be  endured.  At  noon  they  are  all  gathered  around 
meager  dishes  and  sometimes  there  is  nothing  at  all,  and 
they  await  the  next  payday,  talk  of  it  and  make  plains,  and 
while  they  are  hungry,  they  already  dream  of  the  good 
fortune  to  come. 

So,  from  their  earliest  days,  the  young  children  become 
familiar  with  misery. 

But  things  end  badly  indeed  when  the  man  from  the  very 
start  goes  his  own  way  and  the  wife,  for  the  sake  of  her 
children,  stands  up  against  him.  Quarreling  and  nagging 
set  in,  and  in  the  same  measure  in  which  the  husband  be- 


38  MEIN  KAMPF 

comes  estranged  from  his  wife,  he  becomes  familiar  with 
alcohol.  Now  he  is  drunk  every  Saturday,  and  in  her  in- 
stinct of  self-preservation  for  herself  and  her  children,  the 
wife  fights  for  the  few  pennies  which  she  wangles  from  him, 
and  frequently  her  sole  opportunity  is  on  his  way  from  the 
factory  to  the  saloon.  When  he  finally  comes  home  on  Sun- 
day or  Monday  night,  drunk  and  brutal,  but  always  with- 
out a  last  cent  and  penny,  then  God  have  mercy  on  the 
scenes  which  follow. 

I  witnessed  all  of  this  personally  in  hundreds  of  scenes 
and  at  the  beginning  with  both  disgust  and  indignation; 
but  later  I  began  to  grasp  the  tragic  side  and  to  understand 
the  deeper  reasons  for  their  misery.  Unfortunate  victims 
of  poor  social  conditions. 

Almost  sadder  were  the  housing  conditions  in  those  days. 
The  housing  distress  of  the  Viennese  unskilled  workers  was 
dreadful.  Even  now  I  shudder  when  I  think  of  those  piti- 
ful dens,  the  shelters  and  lodging  houses,  those  sinister 
pictures  of  dirt  and  repugnant  filth,  and  worse  still. 

How  would  it  be,  and  how  will  it  be,  when  one  day  there 
pours  forth  the  mass  of  unleashed  slaves  out  of  these  mis- 
erable dens,  overflowing  the  other  so  thoughtless  fellow 
creatures  and  contemporaries! 

For  this  other  world  is  thoughtless. 

Thoughtlessly  it  allows  things  to  go  as  they  will  with- 
out foreseeing,  in  their  lack  of  intuition,  that  sooner  or 
later  Fate  will  take  its  revenge  if  Fate  is  not  reconciled  in 
time. 

How  grateful  I  am  today  to  Providence  which  bade  me 
go  to  this  school !  There  I  could  not  sabotage  what  I  dis- 
liked. It  educated  me  quickly  and  thoroughly. 

If  I  were  not  to  despair  of  the  people  of  my  surroundings, 
I  had  to  learn  to  distinguish  between  their  external  ap- 
pearance and  manners  and  the  origins  of  their  develop- 
ment. This  was  the  only  way  possible  to  bear  all  this 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  39 

without  despairing.  What  grew  out  of  this  unhappiness 
and  misery,  of  this  filth  and  external  decay,  were  no  longer 
human  beings,  but  the  deplorable  results  of  deplorable 
laws;  however,  the  pressure  of  my  own  hard  and  no  less 
easy  struggle  for  life  prevented  me  from  capitulating  in 
miserable  sentimentality  before  the  final  results  of  this 
process  of  development. 

No,  it  must  not  be  interpreted  like  that.  <• 

I  saw  then  that  only  a  twofold  way  could  lead  to  the 
goal  for  the  improvement  of  these  conditions: 

A  deep  feeling  of  social  responsibility  towards  the  estab- 
lishment of  better  foundations  for  our  development,  combined 
with  the  ruthless  resolution  to  destroy  the  incurable  social 
tumors. 

Just  as  Nature  concentrates,  not  on  safeguarding  that 
which  exists,  but  on  breeding  the  coming  generation  as  the 
representative  of  the  species,  so  in  human  life  it  is  less  a 
question  of  artificially  cultivating  the  existing  evils  which, 
human  nature  being  what  it  is,  would  be  ninety-nine  per 
cent  impossible,  but  rather  to  assure  healthier  paths  for 
future  development  from  the  start. 

Already  during  my  struggle  for  life  in  Vienna,  it  had 
become  clear  to  me  that : 

Social  activity  must  never  see  its  task  in  the  sentimental 
conception  of  welfare  work  which  is  as  ridiculous  as  it  is 
futile,  but  rather  in  the  abolition  of  those  fundamental  defects 
in  the  organization  of  our  economic  and  cultural  life  which 
must  lead  to,  or  at  least  encourage,  the  degradation  of  the 
individual. 

The  difficulty  of  applying  the  most  extreme  and  brutal 
means  against  the  criminality  endangering  the  State  is  to 
be  found,  above  all,  in  the  prevailing  uncertainty  concern- 
ing the  inner  motives  or  causes  of  the  symptoms  of  our 
time. 

This  uncertainty  is  only  too  deeply  rooted  in  one's  own 


40  MEIN  KAMPF 

feeling  of  being  guilty  of  such  tragedies  of  demoralization; 
it  paralyzes  every  sincere  and  firm  decision,  thus  adding 
to  the  wavering  and  half-heartedness  with  which  even  the 
most  urgent  measures  of  self-preservation  are  applied. 

Only  when  the  time  comes  when  a  race  is  no  longer  over- 
shadowed by  the  consciousness  of  its  own  guilt,  then  it 
will  find  internal  peace  and  external  strength  to  cut  down 
regardlessly  and  brutally  the  wild  shoots,  and  to  pull  up 
the  weeds. 


These  pages  indicate  a  possible  debt  to  Karl  Freiherr  von 
Vogelsang,  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Christian  Social  Move- 
ment in  Austria,  and  one  of  the  editors  of  the  journal  Vaterland. 
A  conservative  nobleman  of  Prussian  ancestry,  he  had  been 
received  into  the  Catholic  Church  by  Bishop  Emanuel  von 
Ketteler,  the  first  German  Catholic  apostle  of  social  reform, 
and  had  then  migrated  to  Vienna.  His  group  taught  that  the 
rights  of  all  take  precedence  over  the  rights  of  the  few  (which 
Hitler  phrases,  Gemeinnutz  geht  vor  Eigennutz),  demanded  leg- 
islation to  protect  the  worker  against  exploitation  (a  precept 
developed  later  on  by  Franz  Hitze  and  others  in  Germany  into 
a  code  of  labor  protection  laws),  and  sponsored  a  type  of  eco- 
nomic organization  akin  in  some  ways  to  the  kind  of  'corpo- 
rative society'  endorsed  in  the  Papal  Encyclical,  Quadragesima 
Anno  (i.e.,  not  the  'corporative  state*  of  Italian  Fascism).  Of 
especial  concern  to  Vogelsang  were  the  moral  consequences  of 
the  liberalistic  economy  —  intemperance,  improvidence,  etc. 
He  also  attacked  the  taking  of  interest  and  the  grip  on  industry 
exercised  by  the  'money  lenders/  (Cf.  the  biography  of  Vogel- 
sang by  Wiard  Klopp,  Vienna,  1930.)  A  more  modern  and  very 
much  more  radical  statement  of  the  same  views  can  be  found 
in  Economia  Perennis,  by  Anton  Orel  (Graz,  1928).  It  seems 
probable  that  Hitler  saturated  himself  at  one  time  with  Vater- 
land editorials,  which  afford  interesting  parallels  to  what  he 
writes  here.  But  he  subordinates  the  Vogelsang  teaching  to  hifc 
own  chauvinistic  Pan-German  outlook. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          41 

Since  the  Austrian  State  hardly  knew  social  justice  and 
social  laws,  its  weakness  in  fighting  even  the  worst  excres- 
cences was  glaringly  obvious. 


I  do  not  know  what  shocked  me  more  at  that  time:  the 
economic  distress  of  my  erstwhile  comrades,  their  ethical 
and  moral  crudity,  or  the  low  level  of  their  spiritual  de- 
velopment. 

Does  not  our  bourgeoisie  rise  in  moral  indignation  when 
it  hears  from  the  lips  of  some  miserable  tramp  that  he 
doesn't  care  whether  he  is  German  or  not,  that  he  feels  at 
home  anywhere,  as  long  as  he  has  enough  to  live  on? 

This  lack  of  'national  pride*  is  deeply  deplored  and  the 
horror  at  such  an  attitude  is  expressed  in  strong  terms. 

But  how  many  people  ask  themselves  the  question,  what 
in  their  own  case  was  the  reason  for  their  own  better  way 
of  thinking? 

How  many  are  there  who  understand  the  numerous 
memories  of  the  greatness  of  the  fatherland,  of  the  nation, 
in  all  fields  of  cultural  and  artistic  endeavor  which,  when 
summoned  up,  justify  their  pride  in  being  privileged  to 
belong  to  such  a  blessed  nation? 

How  many  know  how  dependent  their  pride  in  their 
country  is  upon  their  knowledge  of  its  greatness  in  all  these 
domains? 

f  Does  our  bourgeoisie  realize  to  what  a  ridiculously  small 
extent  this  assumption  of  pride  in  the  fatherland  is  trans- 
mitted to  the  'people'? 

We  cannot  excuse  ourselves  by  saying  '  it  is  not  different 
in  the  other  countries';  that  'in  spite  of  this'  the  workers 
there  stand  up  for  their  nationality.  Even  if  this  were  so, 
it  could  not  serve  as  the  excuse  of  our  own  negligence.  But 
it  is  not  so.  What  we  always  term  'chauvinistic'  education, 
that  of  the  French  nation,  for  example,  is  nothing  but  the 


42  MEIN  KAMPF 

stress  upon  France's  greatness  in  all  fields  of  culture  or, 
as  the  French  say,  'civilization.'  The  young  Frenchman 
is  not  educated  with  an  objective,  but  a  subjective,  point 
of  view,  which  we  can  only  understand  as  far  as  the  politi- 
cal or  cultural  greatness  of  his  country  is  concerned. 

This  education  should  be  limited  to  general  and  im- 
portant points  of  view,  which,  if  necessary,  should  be  im- 
pressed on  the  minds  and  feelings  of  the  people  by  constant 
repetition. 

But  to  our  negative  sin  of  omission,  we  add  the  positive 
sin  of  destroying  the  little  the  individual  is  lucky  enough 
to  learn  in  school.  The  rats  of  the  political  poisoning  of 
our  nation  gnaw  away  the  little  that  is  left  in  the  hearts 
and  the  memories  of  the  masses,  if  misery  and  distress  have 
not  already  done  so. 

Now  let  us  imagine  the  following: 

In  a  basement  apartment  of  two  stuffy  rooms  lives  a 
worker's  family  of  seven  people.  Among  the  five  children 
there  is  a  boy,  let  us  say,  of  three.  This  is  the  age  at  which 
a  child  becomes  conscious  of  his  first  impressions.  In 
many  intelligent  people,  traces  of  these  early  memories 
are  found  even  in  old  age.  The  smallness  and  the  over- 
crowding of  the  rooms  do  not  create  favorable  conditions. 
Quarreling  and  nagging  often  arise  because  of  this.  In  such 
circumstances  people  do  not  live  with  one  another,  but  on 
top  of  one  another.  Every  argument,  even  the  most  un- 
important, which  in  a  larger  apartment  would  take  care 
of  itself  for  the  reason  that  one  could  step  aside,  leads  to 
a  never-ending,  disgusting  quarrel.  Among  the  children 
this  does  not  usually  matter;  they  often  quarrel  under  such 
circumstances  and  forget  completely  and  quickly.  But 
when  the  parents  fight  almost  daily,  their  brutality  leaves 
nothing  to  the  imagination;  then  the  results  of  such  visual 
education  must  slowly  but  inevitably  become  apparent  in 
the  little  ones.  Those  who  are  not  familiar  with  such  con* 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING 


43 


ditions  can  hardly  imagine  the  results,  especially  when  the 
mutual  differences  express  themselves  in  the  form  of  brutal 
attacks  on  the  part  of  the  father  towards  the  mother  or  to 
assaults  due  to  drunkenness.  The  poor  little  boy,  at  the 
age  of  six,  senses  things  which  would  make  even  a  grown-up 
person  shudder.  Morally  infected,  undernourished,  his  poor 
little  head  covered  with  lice,  the  young  'citizen*  wanders 
off  to  the  elementary  school.  He  may  learn  to  read  and  to 
write  only  with  the  greatest  difficulty,  and  nothing  more. 
Learning  at  home  is  out  of  the  question.  On  the  contrary. 
In  front  of  the  children,  father  and  mother  often  speak 
about  school  and  the  teachers  in  a  manner  one  cannot  pos- 
sibly repeat,  and  are  inclined 
them  ;  instead  of  placing  the 
spanking  some  sense  into 
The  other  things  the  litt 
tend  to  further  his  r 
single  good  shred  is  left 
tution  is  left  unattacked  ; 
the  head  of  the  State,  be 
be  it  the  State  or  society, 
abused,  everything  is  pulled 
into  the  filth  of  a  depraved 
of  fourteen,  the  young  lad  is  dismissed  from  school,  it  is 
difficult  to  say  which  is  worse:  his  unbelievable  ignorance 
as  far  as  knowledge  and  ability  are  concerned,  or  the  biting 
impudence  of  his  behavior,  combined  with  an  immorality 
which  makes  one's  hair  stand  on  end,  considering  his 
age. 

But  what  place  in  society  will  the  young  man  —  for 
almost  nothing  is  sacred  to  him  ;  having  learned  nothing  of 
greatness,  he  but  guesses  and  knows  all  the  meanness  of 
life  —  now  take  when  he  enters  into  life? 

The  three-year-old  child  has  now  become  a  youth  of  fif- 
teen who  despises  all  authority.  Familiar  with  nothing 


things  about 
knee  and 
them. 
do  not 
Not  a 
insti- 
up to 
such, 
ing  is 
manner 
at  the  age 


44  MEIN  KAMPF 

other  than  dirt  and  filth,  the  young  fellow  knows  nothing 
that  could  rouse  his  enthusiasm  for  higher  things. 

But  now  for  the  first  time  he  enters  the  high  school  of 
life. 

Now  the  same  mode  of  living,  which  he  learned  from 
his  father  during  childhood,  begins.  Now  he  loiters  about, 
and  God  only  knows  when  he  comes  home;  for  a  change 
he  may  even  beat  the  poor  creature  who  was  once  his 
mother,  curses  God  and  the  world,  and  finally,  for  some 
reason  or  other,  he  is  sentenced  to  a  reformatory. 

There  he  receives  the  final  polish. 

But  his  dear  bourgeois  fellow  men  are  truly  astonished 
at  the  lack  of  'national'  enthusiasm  in  this  young  'citizen.' 

They  see  how  theaters  and  movies,  worthless  literature 
and  tabloid  newspapers  pour  poison  into  the  masses  by  the 
bucketful,  and  are  surprised  by  their  low  'morality,'  their 
national  'indifference.'  As  though  movie  sentimentality, 
tabloid  newspapers,  and  similar  rubbish  could  lay  the 
foundation  for  a  realization  of  national  greatness!  To  say 
nothing  of  the  previous  education  of  the  individual.  •«• 

What  I  had  never  guessed  before,  I  learned  to  under- 
stand now:  quickly  and  thoroughly. 

The  question  of  the  '  nationalization f  of  a  people  is  first  of 
all  a  question  of  creating  sound  social  conditions  as  the  funda- 
mental possibility  for  educating  the  individual.  For  only 
those  who,  through  education  and  schooling,  get  to  know  the 
cultural  and  economic,  and  above  all  the  political,  greatness 
of  their  own  country,  can  and  will  be  proud  of  being  allowed 
to  call  themselves  members  of  this  nation.  Moreover,  I  can 
only  fight  for  what  I  love;  only  love  what  I  can  respect;  only 
respect  what  I  know. 


Now  that  my  interest  for  the  social  question  was  awak- 
ened, I  began  to  study  it  in  all  thoroughness.    It  was  a 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          45 

new  and  hitherto  unknown  world  which  opened  itself 
before  my  eyes. 

In  1909-10  my  own  situation  had  changed  somewhat, 
as  I  no  longer  had  to  earn  my  daily  bread  as  an  unskilled 
worker.  I  worked  independently  as  a  modest  draftsman 
and  painter  of  aquarelles.  Though  this  was  bitter  as  far 
as  my  earnings  were  concerned  —  it  was  really  barely 
enough  for  a  living  —  it  was  good  for  the  career  I  had 
chosen.  Now  I  was  no  longer  dead  tired  as  formerly  when 
coming  home  from  my  work  in  the  evening,  unable  to 
open  a  book  without  falling  asleep  after  a  short  time. 
The  work  I  was  doing  went  hand  in  hand  with  my  future 
profession.  I  was  also  master  of  my  own  time  and  I  was 
able  to  arrange  it  better  than  before. 

I  painted  in  order  to  earn  a  living  and  I  learned  for 
enjoyment. 

Thus  I  was  enabled  to  supplement  my  practical  ex- 
periences concerning  social  problems  with  the  necessary 
theory.  I  studied  almost  every  book  on  the  subject  I 
could  get  hold  of,  and  for  the  rest  I  was  steeped  in  thoughts 
of  my  own. 

I  believe  that  those  who  knew  me  then  must  have  thought 
me  a  queer  fellow. 

But  with  all  this  it  was  natural  that  I  devoted  myself 
enthusiastically  to  my  passion  for  architecture.  Along  with 
music,  architecture  appeared  to  me  to  be  the  queen  of 
the  arts:  under  such  circumstances  my  occupation  with  it 
was  not  'work,'  but  the  greatest  happiness.  I  was  able  to 
read  or  draw  late  into  the  night;  I  was  never  tired.  Thus 
my  belief,  that  my  beautiful  dream  of  the  future  would 
become  reality,  perhaps  only  after  many  years,  was 
strengthened.  I  was  firmly  convinced  that  some  day  I 
would  make  a  name  as  an  architect. 

1  did  not  place  much  importance  on  the  fact  that  in 
addition  I  took  the  greatest  interest  in  everything  con- 


46  MEIN  KAMPF 

nected  with  politics.  On  the  contrary;  to  me  this  was  the 
natural  duty  of  every  thinking  human  being  anyway.   He 
who  had  no  understanding  for  this  simply  had  no  right  to 
criticize  or  to  complain, 
t  Here,  too,  I  also  read  and  learned  a  lot. 

But  by  'reading*  I  may  possibly  mean  something  entirely 
different  from  the  great  average  of  our  so-called  'intelli- 
gentsia/ 

I  know  people  who  endlessly  'read'  a  lot,  book  after 
book,  letter  for  letter,  yet  I  would  not  call  them  'well 
read.'  Of  course,  they  possess  a  wide  'knowledge,'  but 
their  intellect  does  not  know  how  to  distribute  and  register 
the  material  gathered.  They  lack  the  ability  to  distinguish 
in  a  book  that  which  is  of  value  and  that  which  is  of  no 
value  to  them;  to  keep  the  one  in  mind  forever,  and  to 


Hitler  was  never  more  candid  than  in  these  pages,  which 
must  not  be  read,  however,  as  a  mere  defense  against  the  charge 
of  ignorance.  The  educational  program  of  National  Socialism 
is  based  upon  the  theory  that  too  much  reading,  too  much  fa- 
miliarity with  different  points  of  view,  fosters  criticism,  and 
therewith  disrupts  the  unity  with  which  the  nation  must  face 
the  problem  of  war.  Hitler's  declaration  that  he  read  in  order 
to  fortify  ideas  he  already  held  is,  whether  true  in  fact  or  not 
(the  point  has  been  raised  by  various  biographers),  highly  im- 
portant because  it  happens  to  coincide  with  a  trend  in  Ger- 
man pedagogical  thought  which,  related  in  a  sense  to  Plato  and 
Fichte,  has  led  to  the  'Spartan '  ideal  now  dominant  in  German 
higher  education  and  handed  down  thence  to  the  elementary 
school.  Aurel  Kolnai,  in  his  War  against  the  West,  summarizes 
the  ideas  of  one  spokesman  for  that  trend  —  Professor  Alfred 
Baeumler,  latterly  Nazi  appointee  to  the  University  of  Berlin : 
'We  set  ourselves  the  task  of  breeding  types,  not  "individuali- 
ties." To  the  ideal  of  universality  (many-sidedness)  we  oppose 
efficient  and  disciplined  unity;  to  harmony,  force;  to  refinement, 
greatness  and  simplicity;  to  complicated  inwardness,  an  atti- 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          47 

overlook,  if  possible,  the  other,  instead  of  carrying  it  with 
them  as  so  much  unnecessary  ballast.  Reading,  further- 
more, is  not  a  purpose  in  itself,  but  a  means  to  an  end. 
It  should  serve,  first  of  all,  to  fill  in  the  frame  which  Is 
formed  by  the  talents  and  abilities  of  the  individual; 
thus  reading  has  to  furnish  the  tools  and  the  building 
material  which  the  individual  needs  for  his  profession,  no 
matter  whether  it  serves  only  the  primitive  purpose  of 
making  a  living  or  whether  it  presents  a  higher  vocation; 
secondly,  reading  has  to  give  a  general  picture  of  the  world. 
In  both  cases  it  is  necessary  that  the  content  of  what 
has  been  read  is  registered  in  the  mind,  not  according 
to  the  sequence  in  the  book,  or  according  to  the  sequence 
in  which  the  books  are  read,  but  that,  like  the  small  pieces 
of  a  mosaic,  it  is  put  into  the  place  where  it  belongs,  thus 

tude  of  steadfastness.  The  utmost  dignity  is  accorded  to  bodily 
training,  not  for  reasons  of  health,  but  as  a  direct  expression  of 
the  preferred  "mode  of  life."  . . .  Amidst  a  culture  that  has  be- 
come too  inward,  too  spiritual,  athletics  restore  the  principle 
of  "visibleness."  Our  conditions  of  life  must  be  simplified;  we 
shall  have  to  resort  to  the  elemental  forces  in  our  people.9 

Concerning  Hitler's  own  intellectual  equipment,  the  follow- 
ing objective  statement  made  by  Professor  Hans  E.  Friedrich  in 
1931  seems  readable  and  interesting  today:  'He  is  an  orator,  an 
organizer,  a  practical  psychologist;  and  in  addition  he  possesses 
physical  courage,  is  unusually  able  to  tap  his  own  enthusiasm, 
and  has  a  fund  of  glowing  personal  emotions.  But  in  order  to 
become  a  leader  in  the  sense  that  Pericles  and  Napoleon  were 
leaders,  he  would  have  to  overcome  his  lack  of  that  which  gives 
a  man  in  supreme  command  personal  confidence  in  himself  — 
calmness  of  analysis  (above  all  where  he  himself  is  concerned), 
hardness  to  the  point  of  rigor,  ability  to  face  decisions  of  im- 
portance with  an  absolutely  open  mind,  unemotional  serious- 
ness in  the  act  of  looking  things  over,  and  that  measure  of  inner 
objectivity  that  gives  a  man  independence  and  stubborn  per* 


48  MEIN  KAMPF 

helping  to  complete  the  general  picture  of  the  world  in 
the  mind  of  the  reader.  Otherwise,  the  result  will  be  a 
terrible  muddle  of  things  learned,  and  this  is  not  only 
of  little  value,  but  it  also  makes  its  unfortunate  possessor 
presumptuous  and  vain.  For  now  he  thinks  in  all  sincerity 
that  he  is  'educated';  he  thinks  he  knows  life  and  has 
knowledge;  whereas  in  reality,  with  each  new  contribu- 
tion to  this  'education,'  he  is  more  and  more  estranged 
from  the  world,  till  frequently  he  ends  in  a  sanatorium, 
or  as  a  'politician*  in  parliament. 

Such  a  person  will  never  succeed  in  finding,  in  an  hour 
of  need,  the  right  thing  in  the  medley  of  his  'knowledge,' 
as  his  mental  ballast  is  not  arranged  according  to  the 
course  of  life,  but  in  the  order  in  which  he  has  read  the 
books  and  in  which  their  contents  are  arranged  in  his 
mind.  If  Fate  in  his  daily  demands  of  life  were  always 
to  remind  him  of  the  right  use  of  that  which  he  has  once 
read,  then  it  would  also  have  to  remind  him  of  each  book 
and  the  page  number  or  else  the  poor  devil  in  all  eternity 
would  never  find  the  right  thing.  But  since  it  does  not 
do  this,  these  extraordinarily  wise  men  are  terribly  em- 
barrassed at  critical  moments  and  seek  frantically  for 
analogies,  and  then,  of  course,  they  are  dead  certain  to 
chance  upon  the  wrong  recipe. 

If  this  were  not  so,  we  should  not  be  able  to  understand 
the  political  achievements  of  our  learned  heroes  in  the 
highest  government  positions,  unless  we  decided  that  they 

sistence.  In  addition  Hitler  seems  to  lack  that  elementary 
knowledge  of  economic  and  political  situations  and  of  history 
which  a  leader  must  have  at  his  command,  though  he  need  not 
drag  about  with  him  a  ballast  of  information.'  (Cf.  Die  christ- 
Kche  Well,  Vol.  XLV,  nr.  9.) 

The  practical  consequences  of  Hitler's  attitude  towards  edu- 
cation will  be  discussed  later  on. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          49 

had  pathological  inclinations  instead  of  infamous  villainy. 

When  studying  a  book,  a  magazine,  or  a  pamphlet,  those 
who  master  this  art  of  reading  will  immediately  pick  out 
that  which  in  their  opinion  is  suitable  for  them  —  because 
it  serves  their  purposes  or  is  generally  worth  knowing  — 
and  therefore  to  be  remembered  forever.  As  soon  as  the 
knowledge  so  gained  finds  its  due  place  in  the  one  or  the 
other  existing  picture  of  this  or  that  thing  which  imagina- 
tion has  created,  it  will  act  as  a  corrective  or  as  a  supple- 
ment, thus  enhancing  its  truth  or  its  clarity.  When  life 
suddenly  presents  some  question  to  be  examined  or  an- 
swered, then  this  manner  of  reading  will  immediately  take 
the  already  existing  picture  as  a  standard,  and  from  it  it 
will  take  all  the  single  contributions  to  this  question  which 
have  been  collected  during  past  decades,  and  submit  them 
to  the  intellect  for  examination  and  reconsideration  till  the 
question  is  clarified  or  answered. 

It  is  only  in  this  fashion  that  reading  is  of  use  and  has 
meaning. 

A  public  speaker,  for  instance,  who  does  not  in  this  way 
supply  his  intelligence  with  the  necessary  support  will 
never,  in  case  of  contradiction,  be  able  to  present  his 
opinion  convincingly,  no  matter  whether  it  may  correspond 
a  thousand  times  to  truth  or  reality.  His  memory  will 
shamefully  desert  him  in  all  discussions;  he  will  neither 
find  supporting  arguments  for  his  contentions,  nor  will  he 
find  such  with  which  to  confound  his  adversary.  This 
may  be  all  very  well  if  it  only  concerns  a  public  speaker 
and  only  his  own  personal  reputation  is  involved,  but  things 
take  a  bad  turn  when  Fate  appoints  such  a  'know-it-all/ 
who  is  really  a  know-nothing,  the  head  of  a  State. 

From  my  early  youth  I  took  pains  to  read  in  the  right 
manner,  and  in  this  I  was  happily  assisted  by  my  memory 
and  intellect.  And  in  this  light  the  time  I  spent  in  Vienna 
was  especially  fruitful  and  useful.  The  experiences  of 


50  MEIN  KAMPF 

everyday  life  gave  me  the  stimulus  for  my  renewed  study 
of  various  problems.  As  I  was  thus  finally  enabled  to  sub* 
stantiate  theory  with  reality,  to  examine  theory  in  its  re- 
lation to  reality.  I  was  spared  being  suffocated  in  theories 
and  from  becoming  shallow  through  reality. 

Apart  from  the  social  problem,  two  other  very  important 
questions  were  also  experienced  in  daily  life,  decisive  and 
stimulating  for  a  thorough  theoretical  study. 

Who  knows  when  I  might  have  plunged  into  studying 
the  doctrines  and  ideas  of  Marxism  if  that  period  had  not 
virtually  pushed  my  nose  into  this  problem ! 


What  I  knew  of  Social  Democracy  during  my  youth  was 
precious  little  and  mostly  wrong. 

I  was  secretly  glad  to  know  that  it  fought  for  general 
suffrage  and  the  secret  ballot.  My  reason  already  told  me 
that  this  would  lead  to  the  weakening  of  the  Habsburg 
regime  which  I  hated  so  much.  In  the  conviction  that  the 
State  on  the  Danube  could  never  be  preserved  unless  the 
German  nationality  was  sacrificed,  and  that  even  paying 
the  price  of  the  gradual  Slavicizing  of  the  German  element 

Faithful  to  its  internationalist  program,  Socialism  made 
every  effort  to  organize  Slav  and  German  workers  in  a  common 
front.  When  after  the  War  a  constitutional  assembly  convened 
in  Austria,  Viktor  Adler  declared:  'We  extend  fraternal  greet- 
ings to  our  Slavic  and  Romanic  brethren,  and  are  ready  to 
unite  with  the  peoples  that  are  our  neighbors  in  a  free  federa- 
tion, if  they  so  desire.  Otherwise  German  Austria  will  be  com- 
pelled to  join  Germany  as  a  specially  constituted  state  inside 
the  German  federation  of  states/  The  position  of  the  small 
Austrian  National  Socialist  Party  at  that  time  was:  it  imme- 
diately repudiated  every  thought  of  a  common  association  with 
the  peoples  comprising  the  old  Habsburg  Empire,  and  de- 
manded union  with  Germany. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  51 

would  in  no  way  have  guaranteed  the  survival  of  the  State, 
as  it  was  doubtful  if  the  Slavic  nationality  could  have  ac- 
complished this,  I  therefore  welcomed  every  development 
which  in  my  opinion  would  lead  to  the  breakdown  of  the 
State  which  had  pronounced  the  death  sentence  on  ten  mil- 
lion German  people.  The  more  the  linguistic  tohuwabohu 
[Hebrew  —  Genesis  1:2  —  meaning  chaos,  confusion, 
hubbub]  ate  into  and  tore  at  the  parliament,  the  sooner 
would  come  the  hour  of  doom  of  this  Babylonian  realm, 
and  with  it,  the  day  of  freedom  for  my  German-Austrian 
people.  Only  in  this  way  could  the  Anschluss  with  the 
old  motherland  be  achieved. 

I  rather  liked  the  activity  of  Social  Democracy.  The 
fact  that  it  finally  endeavored  to  raise  the  standard  of  living 
of  the  working  class  —  in  those  days  my  innocent  mind  was 
foolish  enough  to  believe  this  —  seemed  to  speak  rather  in 
its  favor  than  against  it.  But  what  disgusted  me  most  was 
its  hostile  attitude  towards  the  fight  for  the  preservation 
of  the  German  nationality,  its  pitiful  courtship  of  the  Slav 
*  comrades,'  who  readily  accepted  this  wooing  as  long  as  it 
meant  practical  allowances,  but  were  otherwise  arrogantly 
aloof,  thus  paying  the  intruding  beggars  the  wages  they 
deserved. 

At  the  age  of  seventeen  I  had  rarely  heard  the  word 
'Marxism,'  whereas  'Social  Democracy*  and  'Socialism1 
were  identical  ideas  to  me.  Here,  too,  the  hand  of  Fate 
had  to  open  my  eyes  to  this  unprecedented  betrayal  of  the 
people. 

Till  then  I  had  known  the  Social  Democratic  Party  only 
from  a  spectator's  point  of  view,  on  the  occasion  of  various 
mass  demonstrations,  without  having  the  slightest  insight 
into  the  mentality  of  its  followers  or  the  meaning  of  its 
doctrine;  but  now  I  suddenly  came  into  contact  with  the 
products  of  its  education  and  view  of  life;  I  now  achieved 
in  a  few  months  what  otherwise  might  have  taken  decades: 


52  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  realization  that  it  was  a  pestilential  whore  covered 
with  the  mask  of  social  virtue  and  brotherly  love,  and  that 
mankind  must  rid  the  world  of  her  as  soon  as  possible,  or 
otherwise  the  world  might  easily  be  rid  of  mankind. 

While  I  was  employed  as  a  building  worker,  my  first 
encounter  with  Social  Democracy  took  place. 

It  was  not  a  very  enjoyable  experience  from  the  begin- 
ning. My  clothes  were  still  in  good  shape,  my  language  was 
refined,  and  my  manners  reserved.  I  still  was  so  preoc- 
cupied with  my  own  affairs  that  I  did  not  bother  much 
with  my  surroundings.  I  looked  for  work  to  prevent  me 
from  starving,  thus  hoping  to  find  the  possibility  for  further 
training,  however  slow  it  might  be.  Perhaps  I  would  not 
have  troubled  about  my  new  surroundings  at  all  if  some- 
thing had  not  happened  on  the  third  or  fourth  day  which 
forced  me  to  take  a  stand.  I  was  asked  to  join  the  or- 
ganization. 

My  knowledge  of  unions  was  nil  at  that  time.  I  would 
not  have  been  able  to  prove  the  suitability  or  the  useless- 
ness  of  their  existence.  When  I  was  told  that  I  had  to  join, 
I  refused.  I  gave  as  my  reason  that  I  did  not  understand 
the  whole  affair  and  that,  on  the  whole,  I  would  not  let 
myself  be  forced  into  anything.  The  first  was  perhaps  the 
reason  why  I  was  not  thrown  out  immediately.  Perhaps 
they  hoped  that  in  a  few  days  I  would  be  converted  or 
would  give  in.  In  any  event,  they  were  thoroughly  mis- 
taken. After  two  weeks  1  was  not  allowed  to  wait  any 
longer,  even  if  I  had  wanted  to.  During  these  two  weeks  I 
had  become  better  acquainted  with  my  surroundings,  so 
that  no  power  on  earth  could  have  induced  me  to  join  an 
organization  whose  representatives  had  meanwhile  shown 
themselves  in  so  unfavorable  a  light. 

The  first  few  days  I  was  annoyed. 

At  noon  some  of  the  men  went  into  the  nearest  public 
houses,  while  others  remained  on  the  spot  where  they  in 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          53 

most  cases  ate  a  very  frugal  meal.  These  were  the  married 
ones  whose  wives  brought  them  their  noonday  soup  in 
battered  dishes.  Their  number  grew  steadily  towards  the 
end  of  the  week;  why,  I  knew  only  later.  Now  politics  were 
discussed. 

I  drank  my  bottle  of  milk  and  ate  my  piece  of  bread 
somewhere  on  the  side,  cautiously  studying  my  new  sur- 
roundings or  pondering  over  my  miserable  fate.  Yet  I 
heard  more  than  enough ;  also,  more  than  once  it  seemed  to 
me  as  if  they  approached  me  intentionally  in  order  to  draw 
me  out.  In  any  case,  what  I  heard  served  to  annoy  me 
extremely.  Everything  was  rejected:  the  nation  as  an  in- 
vention of  the  'capitalistic'  classes  —  how  often  was  I  to 
hear  just  this  word!  —  ;  the  country  as  the  instrument  of 
the  bourgeoisie  for  the  exploitation  of  the  workers;  the 
authority  of  the  law  as  a  means  of  suppressing  the  prole- 
tariat; the  school  as  an  institution  for  bringing  up  slaves 
as  well  as  slave  drivers;  religion  as  a  means  for  doping  the 
people  destined  for  exploitation;  morality  as  a  sign  of 
sheepish  patience,  and  so  forth.  Nothing  remained  that 
was  not  dragged  down  into  the  dirt  and  the  filth  of  the 
lowest  depths. 

In  the  beginning  I  tried  to  keep  silent.  But  finally  I 
could  hold  back  no  longer.  I  began  to  take  part  and  to 
contradict.  But  soon  I  realized  that  this  was  entirely  hope- 
less as  long  as  I  did  not  possess  at  least  a  certain  knowledge 
of  the  subjects  under  argument.  Thus  I  began  to  look  into 
the  sources  from  which  the  others  drew  their  so-called  wis- 
dom. I  studied  book  after  book,  pamphlet  after  pamphlet. 

On  the  job  the  arguments  often  became  heated.  Being 
daily  better  informed  about  their  knowledge  than  my  ad- 
versaries themselves,  I  argued  till  finally  one  day  they 
applied  the  one  means  that  wins  the  easiest  victory  over 
reason :  terror  and  force.  Some  of  the  leaders  of  the  other 
side  gave  me  the  choice  of  either  leaving  the  job  at  once 


54  MEIN  KAMPF 

or  of  being  thrown  from  the  scaffold.  As  I  was  alone  and 
resistance  seemed  hopeless,  I  preferred  to  follow  the 
former,  enriched  by  a  new  experience. 

I  went  away,  disgusted,  but  at  the  same  time  I  was  so 
stirred  that  it  would  have  been  impossible  for  me  to  turn 
my  back  on  the  whole  affair.  No;  after  my  first  indignation 
had  passed,  my  stubbornness  gained  the  upper  hand.  I 
firmly  resolved  to  return  to  another  construction  job.  This 
decision  was  encouraged  by  Poverty,  who,  after  I  had  eaten 
up  my  small  savings  in  the  course  of  a  few  weeks,  clasped 
me  in  her  unfeeling  arms.  Now  I  had  to,  whether  I  wanted 
to  or  not.  The  game  began  again  from  the  beginning,  only 
to  end  in  a  similar  way  as  it  had  the  first  time. 

My  mind  was  tormented  by  the  question:  Are  these  still 
human  beings,  worthy  of  being  part  of  a  great  nation? 

A  torturing  question  it  was;  if  answered  in  the  affirma- 
tive, then  the  fight  for  a  nation  is  no  longer  worth  the 
trouble  and  the  sacrifices  which  the  better  ones  have  to 
make  for  such  outcasts;  if  the  answer  is  in  the  negative, 
then  our  nation  is  poor  in  human  beings. 

During  these  days  of  pondering  and  reflection  I  watched 
with  uneasiness  the  mass  of  those  who  could  no  longer  be 
counted  as  belonging  to  the  nation  grow  into  a  threatening 
legion. 

How  different  were  my  feelings  when  one  day  I  stared 
at  the  endless  columns  of  a  mass  demonstration  of  Viennese 
workers,  marching  by  in  rows  of  four!  For  nearly  two  hours 
I  stood  there  and  watched  with  bated  breath  this  terrible 
human  dragon  creeping  slowly  along.  Depressed  and 
anxious  I  left  the  square  and  walked  home.  On  my  way  I 
saw  in  a  tobacco  shop  a  copy  of  the  Arbeiterzeitung,  the 
mouthpiece  of  the  old  Austrian  Social  Democracy.  It  was 
also  available  in  a  cheap  coffee  shop  where  I  sometimes 
used  to  go  to  read  the  newspapers;  but  so  far  I  had  not 
been  able  to  bring  myself  to  look  at  this  wretched  paper 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  55 

for  more  than  two  minutes,  for  the  effect  of  its  language 
on  me  was  like  that  of  spiritual  vitriol.  Under  the  de- 
pressing influence  of  the  demonstration,  an  inner  voice 
now  urged  me  to  buy  the  paper  for  once  and  to  read  it 
thoroughly.  I  did  this  in  the  evening,  though  I  sometimes 
had  to  fight  down  the  rage  rising  in  me  because  of  this 
concentrated  solution  of  lies. 

The  daily  reading  of  the  Social  Democratic  newspapers 
enabled  me  better  to  study  the  inner  meaning  of  these 
ideas  than  all  of  the  theoretic  literature  put  together. 

What  a  difference  between  the  phrases  about  liberty, 
beauty,  and  dignity,  the  delusive  swaggering  which  at- 
tempted to  express  the  deepest  wisdom,  the  disgusting  and 
humane  morality  —  everything  was  written  with  an  iron- 
faced  prophetic  certainty  —  contained  in  the  theoretic 
literature  and  this  doctrine  of  salvation  of  a  new  mankind 
in  a  daily  press  which  did  not  shrink  from  any  baseness 
whatsoever,  and  which  operated  with  the  most  brutal 
forces  of  calumny  and  a  virtuosity  for  lying  that  was  out- 
rageous! The  one  is  intended  for  the  innocent  simpletons 
of  the  middle,  and,  of  course,  the  upper,  classes  of  the 
4  intelligentsia ' ;  the  other  for  the  masses. 

For  me  the  concentration  on  the  literature  and  press  of 
this  organization  and  its  doctrine  was  my  return  to  my 
people. 

What  I  first  had  looked  upon  as  an  impassable  chasm 
now  spurred  me  on  to  a  greater  love  for  my  country  than 
ever  before. 

Aware  of  the  terrible  workings  of  this  poison,  only  a  fool 
would  condemn  the  victim.  The  more  independent  I  be- 
came in  the  following  years,  the  greater  the  distance,  the 
wider  were  my  eyes  opened  to  the  inner  causes  of  the 
Social  Democratic  successes.  Now  I  understood  the  brutal 
demand  to  subscribe  only  to  red  newspapers,  to  attend 
only  red  meetings,  to  read  only  red  books,  and  so  on.  My 


56  MEIN  KAMPF 

eyes  saw  with  plastic  clarity  the  enforced  result  of  this 
doctrine  of  intolerance.  •*? 

The  psyche  of  the  great  masses  is  not  receptive  to  half 
measures  or  weakness. 

Like  a  woman,  whose  psychic  feeling  is  influenced  less 
by  abstract  reasoning  than  by  an  undefinable,  sentimental 
longing  for  complementary  strength,  who  will  submit  to 
the  strong  man  rather  than  dominate  the  weakling,  thus 
the  masses  love  the  ruler  rather  than  the  suppliant,  and 
inwardly  they  are  far  more  satisfied  by  a  doctrine  which 
tolerates  no  rival  than  by  the  grant  of  liberal  freedom ;  they 
often  feel  at  a  loss  what  to  do  with  it,  and  even  easily  feel 
themselves  deserted.  They  neither  realize  the  impudence 
with  which  they  are  spiritually  terrorized,  nor  the  out- 
rageous curtailment  of  their  human  liberties,  for  in  no  way 
does  the  delusion  of  this  doctrine  dawn  on  them.  Thus 
they  see  only  the  inconsiderate  force,  the  brutality  and 
the  aim  of  its  manifestations  to  which  they  finally  always 
submit. 

//  Social  Democracy  is  confronted  by  a  doctrine  of  greater 
truthfulness,  carried  out  with  the  same  brutality,  then  the 
latter  will  be  victorious,  though  the  struggle  may  be  hard. 

Before  two  years  had  elapsed,  the  doctrine  and  the 
technical  tools  of  Social  Democracy  had  become  clear  to  me. 

I  understood  the  infamous  mental  terror  which  this 
movement  exercised  on  the  population  which  could  neither 
morally  nor  psychically  resist  such  attacks;  Social  De- 
mocracy, at  a  given  signal,  directs  a  bombardment  of  lies 

This  statement  is  of  cardinal  importance,  so  that  an  analysis 
of  the  underlying  thought  development  is  suggested.  Hitler, 
conscious  of  belonging  to  a  higher  social  caste  than  his  fellow- 
workers  —  after  all,  his  father  had  spent  a  lifetime  struggling 
to  rise  —  instinctively  retreats  from  the  idea  of  accepting 
solidarity  with  them.  They  persist  in  their  proselyting  efforts. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  57 

and  calumnies  towards  the  adversary  who  seemed  most 
dangerous,  till  finally  the  nerves  of  those  who  had  been 
attacked  give  out  and  they,  for  the  sake  of  peace,  bow  down 
to  the  hated  enemy. 

But  the  fools  will  not  find  peace  after  all. 

The  play  begins  again  and  is  so  often  repeated  till  the 
fear  of  the  mad  dog  paralyzes  them  by  suggestion. 

As  Social  Democracy  knows,  from  its  own  experience, 
the  value  of  strength,  it  assaults  mostly  those  in  whom  it 
scents  a  trace  of  that  rare  material.  On  the  other  hand, 
it  praises  every  weakling  of  the  other  side,  sometimes  cau- 
tiously, sometimes  more  boldly,  according  to  the  mental 
qualities  they  appreciate  or  suspect. 

It  is  less  afraid  of  a  powerless,  irresolute  genius  than  of 
a  strong  man  of  even  moderate  intelligence. 

Most  of  all  it  recommends  those  who  are  weaklings  in 
mind  and  power. 

It  knows  how  to  create  the  appearance  as  though  this 
were  the  only  way  in  which  peace  could  be  maintained; 
yet  relentlessly  it  conquers  one  position  after  another, 


An  argument  ensues;  and  appalled  by  their  revolutionary 
attitudes,  he  loses  his  temper.  There  is  a  fight.  Afterward 
he  can  only  think  bitterly  of  how  these  large  groups  of  Germans 
are  being  weaned  away  from  ardent  zeal  for  the  expansion  of 
the  German  nation  and  made,  by  persistent  regimentation 
and  propaganda,  to  accept  the  creed  of  international  class 
warfare.  The  trend  could  not,  he  decided,  be  halted  with 
reasoning  or  evidence.  Only  a  group  still  more  disciplined, 
still  more  ruthless  in  its  methods,  would  after  a  bitter  struggle 
be  able  to  suppress  such  a  movement.  These  early  reflections 
colored  his  later  conduct.  The  Social  Democracy  of  post-War 
years  in  Germany  was  not  revolutionary  but  reformist.  It 
was  actuated  by  a  deep  and  intelligent  patriotism.  But  he 
refused  to  concede  that  his  Vienna  impressions  needed  revision. 


56  MEIN  KAMPF 

eyes  saw  with  plastic  clarity  the  enforced  result  of  this 
doctrine  of  intolerance,  •<• 

The  psyche  of  the  great  masses  is  not  receptive  to  half 
measures  or  weakness. 

Like  a  woman,  whose  psychic  feeling  is  influenced  less 
by  abstract  reasoning  than  by  an  undefinable,  sentimental 
longing  for  complementary  strength,  who  will  submit  to 
the  strong  man  rather  than  dominate  the  weakling,  thus 
the  masses  love  the  ruler  rather  than  the  suppliant,  and 
inwardly  they  are  far  more  satisfied  by  a  doctrine  which 
tolerates  no  rival  than  by  the  grant  of  liberal  freedom ;  they 
often  feel  at  a  loss  what  to  do  with  it,  and  even  easily  feel 
themselves  deserted.  They  neither  realize  the  impudence 
with  which  they  are  spiritually  terrorized,  nor  the  out- 
rageous curtailment  of  their  human  liberties,  for  in  no  way 
does  the  delusion  of  this  doctrine  dawn  on  them.  Thus 
they  see  only  the  inconsiderate  force,  the  brutality  and 
the  aim  of  its  manifestations  to  which  they  finally  always 
submit. 

//  Social  Democracy  is  confronted  by  a  doctrine  of  greater 
truthfulness,  carried  out  with  the  same  brutality,  then  the 
latter  will  be  victorious,  though  the  struggle  may  be  hard. 

Before  two  years  had  elapsed,  the  doctrine  and  the 
technical  tools  of  Social  Democracy  had  become  clear  to  me. 

I  understood  the  infamous  mental  terror  which  this 
movement  exercised  on  the  population  which  could  neither 
morally  nor  psychically  resist  such  attacks;  Social  De- 
mocracy, at  a  given  signal,  directs  a  bombardment  of  lies 

This  statement  is  of  cardinal  importance,  so  that  an  analysis 
of  the  underlying  thought  development  is  suggested.  Hitler, 
conscious  of  belonging  to  a  higher  social  caste  than  his  fellow- 
workers  —  after  all,  his  father  had  spent  a  lifetime  struggling 
to  rise  —  instinctively  retreats  from  the  idea  of  accepting 
solidarity  with  them.  They  persist  in  their  proselyting  efforts. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          57 

and  calumnies  towards  the  adversary  who  seemed  most 
dangerous,  till  finally  the  nerves  of  those  who  had  been 
attacked  give  out  and  they,  for  the  sake  of  peace,  bow  down 
to  the  hated  enemy. 

But  the  fools  will  not  find  peace  after  all. 

The  play  begins  again  and  is  so  often  repeated  till  the 
fear  of  the  mad  dog  paralyzes  them  by  suggestion. 

As  Social  Democracy  knows,  from  its  own  experience, 
the  value  of  strength,  it  assaults  mostly  those  in  whom  it 
scents  a  trace  of  that  rare  material.  On  the  other  hand, 
it  praises  every  weakling  of  the  other  side,  sometimes  cau- 
tiously, sometimes  more  boldly,  according  to  the  mental 
qualities  they  appreciate  or  suspect. 

It  is  less  afraid  of  a  powerless,  irresolute  genius  than  of 
a  strong  man  of  even  moderate  intelligence. 

Most  of  all  it  recommends  those  who  are  weaklings  in 
mind  and  power. 

It  knows  how  to  create  the  appearance  as  though  this 
were  the  only  way  in  which  peace  could  be  maintained; 
yet  relentlessly  it  conquers  one  position  after  another, 


An  argument  ensues;  and  appalled  by  their  revolutionary 
attitudes,  he  loses  his  temper.  There  is  a  fight.  Afterward 
he  can  only  think  bitterly  of  how  these  large  groups  of  Germans 
are  being  weaned  away  from  ardent  zeal  for  the  expansion  of 
the  German  nation  and  made,  by  persistent  regimentation 
and  propaganda,  to  accept  the  creed  of  international  class 
warfare.  The  trend  could  not,  he  decided,  be  halted  with 
reasoning  or  evidence.  Only  a  group  still  more  disciplined, 
still  more  ruthless  in  its  methods,  would  after  a  bitter  struggle 
be  able  to  suppress  such  a  movement.  These  early  reflections 
colored  his  later  conduct.  The  Social  Democracy  of  post- War 
yeans  in  Germany  was  not  revolutionary  but  reformist.  It 
was  actuated  by  a  deep  and  intelligent  patriotism.  But  he 
refused  to  concede  that  his  Vienna  impressions  needed  revision. 


58  MEIN  KAMPF 

either  by  quiet  pressure  or  by  downright  robbery  at  mo- 
ments when  public  attention  is  occupied  with  other  things 
and  does  not  wish  to  be  disturbed  or  because  it  considers 
the  affair  too  trifling  to  be  dealt  with  and  does  not  wish  to 
provoke  the  adversary  anew. 

These  tactics  are  based  on  an  exact  calculation  of  all 
human  weaknesses;  their  result  must  lead  to  success  with 
almost  mathematical  certainty,  unless  the  other  side  also 
learns  to  fight  poison  gas  with  poison  gas. 

Weak  natures  have  to  be  told  that  it  simply  means  'to 
be  or  not  to  be/ 

The  importance  of  physical  terror  against  the  individual 
and  the  masses  also  became  clear  to  me. 

Here,  too,  we  find  exact  calculation  of  the  psychological 
effect. 

The  terror  in  the  workshops,  in  the  factory,  in  the  assembly 
hall,  and  on  occasion  of  mass  demonstrations  will  always  be 
accompanied  by  success  as  long  as  it  is  not  met  by  an  equally 
great  force  of  terror. 

Then,  of  course,  the  party  will  cry  havoc;  scornful  of 
State  authority  it  will  now  call  for  it,  so  that  in  most  cases 
and  in  the  general  disorder,  it  will  reach  the  goal  —  that  is, 
it  will  find  some  idiot  of  a  higher  official  who,  in  the  stupid 
hope  of  in  this  way  gaining,  for  the  future,  perhaps  the 
favor  of  the  dreaded  enemy,  helps  to  break  the  adversary 
of  this  universal  plague. 

Only  those  who  know  the  soul  of  a  people,  not  from 
books  but  from  life,  can  understand  the  impression  such 
success  makes  on  the  sensibilities  of  the  masses  of  adherents 
and  adversaries  as  well.  While  in  the  ranks  of  their  ad- 
herents the  victory  gained  is  looked  upon  as  the  triumph 
of  the  right  in  its  own  cause,  the  beaten  adversary  in  most 
cases  despairs  entirely  of  the  success  of  all  further  re- 
sistance. 

The  closer  I  became  acquainted  with  the  methods  of 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  59 

physical  terror,  the  more  I  asked  for  forgiveness  from  those 
hundreds  of  thousands  who  succumb  to  it. 

I  owe  most  of  all  to  that  period  of  suffering  that  it  alone 
has  given  my  people  back  to  me,  that  I  learned  to  dis- 
tinguish between  victims  and  seducers. 

The  results  of  these  seductions  cannot  be  called  anything 
other  than  victims.  For  if  I  now  were  to  try  to  draw  from 
life  the  existence  of  these  'lowest1  classes,  the  picture 
would  not  be  complete  without  the  assurance  that  in  these 
depths  I  would  also  find  light  in  the  shape  of  a  rare  willing- 
ness to  make  sacrifices,  a  faithful  comradeship,  extreme 
contentedness,  and  reserved  modesty,  especially  among  the 
older  generation  of  the  working  class.  Though  these  virtues 
were  lost  more  and  more  to  the  younger  generation,  espe- 
cially under  the  general  influence  of  the  big  city,  yet  there 
were  many  whose  sound  and  healthy  blood  mastered  the 
mean  baseness  of  life.  If  nevertheless  these  good-natured, 
plucky  people,  in  their  political  activity  entered  the  ranks 
of  the  deadliest  enemy  of  our  nationality,  thus  helping  to 
close  them  up,  the  fault  was  that  they  did  not  and  could 
not  understand  the  baseness  of  the  new  doctrine,  that  no- 
body else  took  the  trouble  to  look  after  them,  and  that 
finally  social  conditions  were  perhaps  stronger  than  all  the 
mutual  will  power  present.  The  poverty  into  which  they 
would  fall  sooner  or  later  drove  them  finally  into  the  camp 
of  Social  Democracy. 

As  innumerable  times  the  bourgeoisie,  in  the  most  stupid, 
but  also  the  most  immoral,  manner  turned  against  claims 
which  were  generally  and  humanly  justified,  without  obtaining 
any  advantages  for  themselves  or  expecting  any,  even  the  most 
decent  worker  was  driven  from  trade  unionism  into  political 
activity. 

t  Millions  of  workers  were  certainly  inwardly  enemies  of 
the  Social  Democratic  Party  at  the  beginning,  but  their 
resistance  was  overcome  in  a  sometimes  idiotic  way  and 


60  MEIN  KAMPF 

manner,  because  the  parties  of  the  bourgeoisie  turned 
against  all  social  demands.  They  foolishly  suppressed  all 
attempts  to  improve  working  conditions,  safety  devices  on 
machines,  abolition  of  child  labor,  and  protection  of  the 
woman  at  least  during  those  months  when  she  carries 
under  her  heart  the  future  fellow  citizen,  thus  helping 
Social  Democracy,  which  gratefully  took  up  every  such 
deplorable  manifestation  to  drive  the  masses  into  its  nets. 
Never  can  our  political  bourgeoisie  repair  the  damage  it 
has  done.  By  its  resistance  to  all  attempts  to  remedy 
social  abuses,  it  sowed  seeds  of  hatred  and  condoned  the 
claims  of  the  arch-enemies  of  the  entire  nationality,  that 
the  Social  Democratic  Party  alone  represented  the  interests 
of  the  working  classes. 

Thus  it  created  above  all  the  moral  justification  for  the 
actual  existence  of  trade  unions,  those  organizations  which 
from  the  beginning  rendered  the  greatest  touting  service 
to  the  political  party. 

During  my  years  of  apprenticeship  in  Vienna  I  was 
forced,  whether  I  wanted  or  not,  to  define  my  attitude 
regarding  the  question  of  unions. 

As  I  looked  upon  them  as  an  inseparable  part  of  the 
Social  Democratic  Party  as  a  whole,  my  decision  was  quick 
—  and  wrong. 

It  was  natural  that  I  should  reject  them  flatly. 

In  this  enormously  important  question  Fate  itself  gave 
me  lessons. 

The  result  was  the  reversal  of  my  first  decision.  ** 

By  the  time  I  was  twenty  I  had  learned  to  distinguish 
between  the  union  as  a  means  of  defending  the  general 
social  rights  of  the  employees  and  of  fighting  for  better 
living  conditions  for  the  individual,  and  the  union  as  a 
party  instrument  in  the  political  class  war. 

The  fact  that  Social  Democracy  realized  the  enormous 
importance  of  the  union  movement  secured  the  instrument 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  61 

for  it,  and  with  it,  success;  it  cost  the  bourgeoisie  its  political 
position  because  it  did  not  understand  this.  By  an  im- 
pudent rejection  it  thought  that  it  would  be  able  to  put 
an  end  to  a  logical  develgpment,  whereas  in  reality  it  only 
forced  it  to  assume  illogical  paths.  It  is  nonsense  and, 
furthermore,  untrue  that  the  union  movement  in  itself  is 
unpatriotic.  Quite  the  contrary  is  true.  If  union  activity 
Axes  as  its  goal,  and  carries  out,  the  uplifting  of  a  class 
which  forms  part  of  the  basic  pillars  of  the  nation,  it  does 
not  act  unpatriotically  or  inimically  towards  the  State, 
but  it  is  'national'  in  the  true  sense  of  the  word.  After 
all,  it  helps  to  create  the  preliminary  social  conditions 
without  which  a  general  national  education  is  unthinkable. 
It  is  the  highest  merit  of  the  union  movement  that  it 
abolishes  deep-seated  social  evils  and  that  it  attacks 
physical  and  mental  infections,  thus  adding  to  the  general 
welfare  of  the  national  body. 

The  question  as  to  its  necessity,  therefore,  is  really 
superfluous. 

As  long  as  there  are  amongst  the  employers  people  with 
little  social  understanding  or  even  lacking  a  sense  of  justice 
and  fairness,  it  is  not  only  the  right  but  even  the  duty  of 
their  employees,  who  after  all  form  part  of  our  national- 
ity, to  protect  the  interests  of  all  against  the  avarice  and 
the  unreasonableness  of  the  individual;  the  safeguarding 
of  the  faith  and  loyalty  of  a  national  body  is  a  concern  of 
the  nation,  just  as  is  the  safeguarding  of  the  health  of  the 
people. 

Both  are  seriously  endangered  by  unworthy  employers 
who  do  not  consider  themselves  part  of  the  entire  national 
community.  The  ill  effects  of  their  avarice  and  reckless- 
ness cause  grave  dangers  for  the  future. 

To  abolish  the  causes  of  such  a  development  means  to 
deserve  well  of  the  nation,  and  not  perhaps  the  reverse. 

We  cannot  say  that  the  individual  is  free  to  draw  the 


62  MEIN  KAMPF 

consequences  from  a  real  or  imagined  wrong  that  has  been 
done  to  him,  that  means  to  go  [sic].  Oh,  no!  This  would  be 
humbug  and  must  be  considered  as  an  attempt  at  diverting 
one's  attention.  Either  the  abolition  of  evil  and  unsocial 
events  is  in  the  interest  of  the  nation  or  it  is  not.  If  it  is, 
then  the  battle  against  it  has  to  be  fought  with  the  help  of 
weapons  which  give  hope  for  success.  The  individual  worker 
is  never  in  a  position  to  maintain  his  position  against  the 
power  of  big  business,  because  the  question  involved  is  not 
that  of  the  victory  of  the  higher  right,  for  with  its  acknow- 
ledgment the  whole  argument,  since  there  would  be  no 
reasons,  would  not  exist;  the  question  involved  is  only  that 
of  the  greater  power.  On  the  other  hand,  the  existing  feel- 
ing of  justice  alone  would  end  the  quarrel  in  an  honest 
manner,  or,  better  still,  the  quarrel  would  never  have 
started. 

No,  if  unsocial  or  unworthy  treatment  of  human  beings 
calls  for  resistance,  and  as  long  as  no  lawful  and  judicial 
authorities  are  created  for  the  abolition  of  these  evils,  the 
struggle  can  be  decided  only  by  the  stronger.  But  it  is  natural 
that  the  power  of  the  employer,  concentrated  into  one  single 
person,  can  be  opposed  only  by  the  masses  of  employees, 
united  into  one  single  body,  as  otherwise  they  would  have  to 
renounce  aU  hope  for  victory  at  the  start. 

Thus  the  union  organization  may  lead  to  a  strengthening 
of  a  social  idea  in  its  practical  effects  on  everyday  life,  and 
with  it  help  towards  the  abolition  of  causes  of  irritation, 
which  again  and  again  bring  about  dissatisfaction  ana 
complaint. 

That  this  is  not  the  fact  must  for  the  most  part  be  at- 
tributed to  those  who  knew  how  to  put  obstacles  in  the 
way  of  every  lawful  regulation  of  social  abuses  or  who 
have  prevented  it  by  means  of  their  political  influence. 

In  the  same  measure  in  which  the  political  bourgeoisie 
did  not  understand,  or  rather  did  not  want  to  understand, 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  63 

the  union  organization  and  showed  resistance  against  it, 
Social  Democracy  embraced  the  disputed  movement. 
Thus  it  clear-sightedly  created  a  firm  basis  which  has 
proved  itself  as  a  last  support  in  more  than  one  critical 
hour.  Of  course,  the  original  purposes  were  abandoned 
gradually  to  make  room  for  new  goals. 

Social  Democracy  never  thought  of  preserving  the  pro- 
fessional movement  it  had  included  as  its  original  task. 

No,  this  was  not  its  intention. 

In  the  course  of  a  few  decades,  under  its  skilled  hand, 
ihe  means  for  protecting  social  and  union  rights  had  be- 
come the  instrument  for  the  destruction  of  national 
economics.  The  interests  of  the  workers  were  not  to  prove 
the  least  hindrance.  For  in  politics,  also,  the  application 
of  economic  means  of  pressure  permits  the  exercise  of  ex- 
tortion, as  long  as  there  exists  a  sufficient  amount  of  the 
necessary  recklessness  on  the  one  side,  and  enough  stupid, 
sheepish  patience  on  the  other. 

Something  which  in  this  case  applies  to  both  sides. 

At  the  turn  of  the  century  the  union  movement  had 
already  long  since  ceased  to  serve  its  original  purpose. 
From  year  to  year  it  had  entered  more  and  more  into  the 
confines  of  Social  Democratic  politics,  till  finally  its  pur- 
pose was  only  that  of  a  ram  in  the  class  war.  By  its  con- 
tinued blows  it  was  to  bring  about  the  fall  of  the  entire 
economic  body,  built  up  with  great  care,  so  that  the 
structure  of  the  State,  after  its  economic  foundations  had 
been  destroyed,  would  easily  meet  with  the  same  end. 
The  representation  of  all  the  economic  needs  of  the  workers 
was  receiving  less  and  less  consideration,  till  finally  po- 
litical wisdom  did  not  think  it  desirable  to  remedy  the 
social  or  even  cultural  distress  of  the  great  masses  any  more, 
for  once  their  demands  had  been  satisfied,  one  would  run 
the  risk  that  they  could  no  longer  be  used  as  helpless  storm 
troops. 


64  MEIN  KAMPF 

So  great  was  the  fear  that  such  an  ominously  perceived 
development  had  instilled  in  the  leaders  of  the  class  war 
that  they  at  last  not  only  declined,  but  even  opposed,  any 
real  beneficial  social  action. 

They  never  were  at  a  loss  for  an  explanation  for  such  an 
apparently  incomprehensible  attitude. 

By  screwing  the  demands  higher  and  higher,  their  pos- 
sible fulfillment  seemed  so  small  and  unimportant  that  one 
was  able  to  convince  the  masses  at  any  time  that  one  had 
only  to  deal  with  the  devilish  attempt  to  weaken  or  even 
paralyze  the  force  of  the  working  class  by  such  a  ridiculous 
satisfaction  of  their  holiest  claims.  Considering  the  limited 
thinking  power  of  the  masses,  the  success  is  not  surprising. 

In  the  camp  of  the  bourgeoisie,  the  indignation  was  great 
at  this  apparent  insincerity  of  the  Social  Democratic 
tactics,  but  without  drawing  even  the  slightest  deductions 
for  a  directive  of  their  own.  The  Social  Democrats'  very 
fear  of  the  actual  raising  of  the  workers  from  the  depths 
of  their  present  cultural  and  social  misery  should  have  led 
to  the  greatest  efforts  in  this  direction,  so  that  the  instru- 
ment would  gradually  have  been  wrenched  from  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  class  war. 

But  this  was  not  done. 

Instead  of  conquering  the  position  of  the  enemy  by  an 
attack  of  their  own,  they  preferred  to  be  pressed  and  pushed, 
till  finally  the  actions  which  were  taken  were  entirely  in- 
adequate because  they  came  too  late;  as  they  were  too 
unimportant,  it  was  easy  to  reject  them.  Thus  in  reality 
everything  remained  as  it  had  been,  only  the  dissatisfaction 
was  greater  than  before. 

Like  a  threatening  thundercloud,  the  'free  trades  union' 
hung  over  the  political  horizon  and  the  life  of  the  individual. 

It  was  one  of  the  most  terrible  instruments  of  intimida- 
tion against  the  security  and  the  independence  of  national 
economy,  the  solidity  of  the  State  and  personal  freedom. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          65 

It  was  the  free  trades  union  above  all  which  turned  the 
conception  of  Democracy  into  a  ridiculous  and  repellent 
phrase,  which  profaned  liberty  and  ridiculed  fraternity 
forever  with  the  words  '  Und  willst  du  nicht  Gcnossc  sein, 
so  schlagen  wir  dir  den  Schaedel  ein.'  [And  if  you  will  not 
join  with  us,  we'll  crack  your  skull.] 

Thus  I  learned  to  know  this  'Friend  of  mankind.9  My 
opinion  was  enlarged  and  deepened  in  the  course  of  the 
years,  but  I  had  no  reason  to  change  it. 


The  more  insight  I  gained  into  the  externals  of  Social 
Democracy,  the  greater  became  my  longing  to  penetrate  to 
the  nucleus  of  its  doctrine. 

The  official  literature  of  the  party,  of  course,  was  of 
little  use.  As  far  as  economic  problems  are  concerned,  it  is 
wrong  in  assertion  and  proof;  as  regards  the  political  aims, 
it  lies.  In  addition,  I  was  disgusted  with  its  modern  petti- 
fogging methods  and  its  writing.  With  an  enormous  amount 
of  words  of  unclear  content  or  unintelligible  meaning  it  piles 
up  sentences  which  are  supposed  to  be  as  ingenious  as  they 
are  meaningless.  Only  the  decadent  bohemianism  of  our 
big  cities  may  feel  at  home  in  this  labyrinth  of  reason,  to 
pick  up  an  'inner  experience9  from  the  dung  heap  of  this 
literary  dadaism,  supported  by  the  proverbial  modesty  of 
part  of  our  people,  which  senses  deepest  wisdom  in  the  most 
incomprehensible  things. 

However,  by  balancing  the  theoretical  untruth  and  the 
nonsense  of  this  doctrine  with  the  reality  of  its  appearance, 
I  gradually  gained  a  clear  picture  of  its  inner  intention. 

In  such  hours  I  had  sad  forebodings  and  was  filled  with 
a  depressing  fear,  I  was  faced  by  a  doctrine  consisting  of 
egoism  and  hatred;  it  could  be  victorious,  following  mathe- 
matical laws,  but  at  the  same  time  it  could  bring  about  the 
end  of  mankind. 


66  MEIN  KAMPF 

Meanwhile  I  had  learned  to  understand  the  connection 
between  this  doctrine  of  destruction  and  the  nature  of  a  race, 
which  hitherto  had  been  unknown  to  me. 

Understanding  Jewry  alone  is  the  key  to  the  comprehension 
of  the  inner,  the  real,  intention  of  Social  Democracy. 

He  who  knows  this  race  will  raise  the  veil  of  false  concep- 
tions, and  out  of  the  mist  and  fog  of  empty  social  phrases 
there  rises  the  grinning,  ugly  face  of  Marxism. 


Today  I  would  find  it  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to  say 
when  the  word  'Jew*  gave  me  cause  for  special  thoughts  for 
the  first  time.  At  home,  as  long  as  my  father  lived,  I  cannot 
remember  that  I  ever  heard  the  word.  I  am  sure  that  if  the 
old  gentleman  had  mentioned  the  term  in  any  special  way, 
he  would  probably  have  been  indicating  antiquated  culture. 
In  the  course  of  his  life  his  opinions  had  been  more  or  less 
cosmopolitan,  which  he  not  only  retained  despite  his  strong 
national  feelings,  but  they  also  had  an  effect  upon  me  as 
well. 

Even  in  school  I  found  no  reason  which  could  cause  me  to 
change  this  accepted  picture. 

At  the  Realschule  I  became  acquainted  with  a  Jewish 
boy  whom  we  all  treated  with  circumspection,  but  only 
because  experience  had  taught  us  not  to  trust  him  too  much 
on  account  of  his  reticence;  neither  I  nor  the  others  had 
any  particular  thoughts  in  the  matter. 

It  was  only  when  I  was  fourteen  or  fifteen  that  I  came 
upon  the  word  'Jew'  more  frequently,  partly  in  connection 
with  political  discussions.  I  felt  a  slight  dislike  and  could 
not  ward  off  a  disagreeable  sensation  which  seized  me 
whenever  confessional  differences  took  place  in  my  presence. 

At  that  time  I  did  not  look  upon  this  question  from  any 
other  point  of  view. 

There  were  only  a  very  few  Jews  in  Linz.  In  the  course 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          67 

of  the  centuries  their  external  appearance  had  become 
European  and  human;  yes,  I  even  looked  upon  them  as 
Germans.  The  nonsense  of  this  notion  was  not  clear  to  me, 
since  I  saw  the  only  distinguishing  mark  in  their  strange 
religion.  The  fact  that  they  had  been  persecuted  on  that 
account  (as  I  believed)  turned  my  aversion  against  un- 
favorable remarks  about  them  almost  into  abhorrence. 

I  had  no  idea  at  all  that  organized  hostility  against  the 
Jews  existed. 

And  so  I  arrived  in  Vienna. 

Captivated  by  the  mass  of  architectural  impressions, 
depressed  by  the  burden  of  my  fate,  I  was  at  first  unaware 
of  the  classification  of  the  population  in  the  huge  city. 
Although  Vienna  in  those  years  already  had  two  hundred 
thousand  Jews  among  its  two  million  inhabitants,  I  did  not 
see  them.  During  the  first  weeks,  my  eyes  and  my  senses 

The  position  of  the  Jews  in  Austria  was  far  different  from 
what  it  was  in  Germany.  Census  figures  for  1890  indicate  that 
there  were  17,693,648  Catholics,  and  1,143,305  Jews  in  the 
Empire.  Other  groups  —  Greek  Catholics,  Protestants,  etc.  — 
together  numbered  less  than  4,000,000.  The  only  really  large 
Jewish  settlement  in  German  Austria  was  in  Vienna.  Now 
during  the  nineteenth  century,  two  sources  of  conflict  other 
than  economic  class  differences  arose  to  plague  the  Habsburgs  — 
rising  nationalist  sentiment,  which  made  every  one  of  the 
linguistic  groups  avid  for  special  favors,  and  growing  hostility 
to  the  privileges  accorded  the  Church. 

Liberalism,  increasing  in  importance  after  1848,  had  con- 
siderably strengthened  the  grip  of  educated  Viennese  Jews 
upon  the  press  and  literary  production.  They  were  then 
accused  by  the  Catholic  majority  of  having  fomented  antipathy 
to  the  Concordat  under  which  the  Catholic  Church  then  lived, 
and  more  generally  of  spreading  liberalistic  ideas;  and  the 
shifting  of  responsibility  for  ill-feeling  from  one  party  to  an- 
other became  in  time  a  normal  feature  of  Austrian  intellectual 


68  MEIN  KAMPF 

were  unable  to  take  in  the  rush  of  so  many  new  values  and 
ideas.  Only  after  settling  down,  when  the  confused  pictures 
began  to  grow  clearer,  did  I  look  at  my  new  world  more 
attentively,  and  then  I  also  came  upon  the  Jewish  problem. 

I  cannot  say  that  I  particularly  liked  the  way  in  which 
I  was  to  become  acquainted  with  them.  I  still  saw  nothing 
but  the  religion  in  the  Jew,  and  for  reasons  of  human 
tolerance  I  continued  to  decline  fighting  on  religious 
grounds.  In  my  opinion,  therefore,  the  language  of  the 
anti-Semitic  Viennese  press  was  unworthy  of  the  cultural 
traditions  of  a  great  race.  I  was  depressed  by  the  memory  of 
certain  events  in  the  Middle  Ages  which  I  did  not  wish  to 
see  repeated.  Since  the  newspapers  in  question  had  not 
a  high  reputation  generally  —  for  what  reason  I  myself 
did  not  exactly  know  —  I  saw  in  them  more  the  products  of 
envious  annoyance  rather  than  the  results  of  a  fundamental 
but  incorrect  opinion. 

My  own  opinion  was  supported  by  what  seemed  to  me 
the  much  more  dignified  manner  in  which  the  really  great 
press  replied  to  all  these  attacks,  or,  what  I  thought  even 
more  worthy  of  respect,  it  did  not  mention  them  or  ignored 
them  completely. 

I  zealously  read  the  so-called  world  press  (Neue  Freie 

and  journalistic  life.  The  differences  might  have  been  ironed 
out  in  time  if  nationalistic  sentiment  —  and  the  resultant 
tendency  to  look  upon  Austria-Hungary  as  a  *  state  of  nations ' — 
had  not  played  its  part.  The  Jews  were  looked  upon  as  a 
separate 4  nation '  side  by  side  with  Germans,  Czechs,  and  others. 
Consequently,  even  those  Jews  who  became  Catholics  or 
Protestants  were  no  longer  assimilated.  By  changing  their 
creed,  they  separated  confessionally  from  a  group  to  which 
they  were  nevertheless  bound  'nationally.'  Theoretically,  of 
course,  Jewish  converts  to  Catholicism  or  Protestantism  were 
accepted  as  equals,  but  in  practice  an  increasingly  large  number 
of  persons  came  to  look  upon  such  conversions  as  spurious. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          69 

Presse,  Wiener  Tageblatt,  etc.)  and  I  was  astonished  at  the 
scope  of  what  it  offered  its  readers  in  general  and  at  the 
objectivity  of  the  representation  in  detail.  I  respected  the 
dignified  tone,  though  the  extravagance  of  its  style  some- 
times did  not  quite  satisfy  me  and  at  times  even  displeased 
me.  But  this  was  perhaps  due  to  life  in  the  metropolis  in 
general. 

Since  at  that  time  I  considered  Vienna  a  metropolis, 
I  thought  I  was  justified  in  letting  the  explanation  I  had 
given  myself  pass  for  an  excuse. 

What  repelled  me  sometimes,  however,  was  the  un- 
dignified manner  in  which  the  press  wooed  the  Court. 
There  was  hardly  any  occurrence  at  the  Hofburg  which  was 
not  reported  to  the  reader  either  in  raptures  of  enthusiasm 
or  in  complaining  amazement,  especially  when  the  'wisest 
of  all  monarchs'  of  all  times  was  concerned,  the  fuss  almost 
resembled  the  mating  cry  of  the  mountain-cock. 

To  me  this  seemed  artificial. 

In  my  opinion  liberal  democracy  was  blemished  by  this. 

To  strive  for  the  favor  of  the  Court  in  such  an  indecent 
manner  signified  ridiculing  the  dignity  of  the  nation. 

This  was  the  first  shadow  to  cloud  my  spiritual  relation- 
ship with  the  'great'  Viennese  press. 

In  Vienna  I  continued,  as  I  had  done  before,  to  follow 
up  all  events  in  Germany  with  the  fieriest  enthusiasms,  no 
matter  whether  political  or  cultural  questions  were  con- 
cerned. With  proud  admiration  I  compared  the  rise  of  the 


Hitler  did  not,  therefore,  share  the  prevailing  Catholic 
feeling  that  Jewish  intellectuals  and  journalists  were  under- 
mining the  rights  of  the  Church.  He  was  a  'liberal9  in  the 
sense  that  he,  though  born  a  Catholic,  refused  to  commit 
himself  seriously  to  one  side  of  a  religious  discussion.  What 
annoyed  him  was  that  the  'liberal'  newspapers,  to  a  large 
extent  edited  by  Jews,  defended  the  hated  Habsburg  House, 


70  MEIN  KAMPF 

Reich  with  the  decline  of  the  Austrian  State.  But  while 
foreign  political  events  gave  me  undivided  joy,  the  less 
enjoyable  domestic  affairs  often  distressed  me.  At  that 
time  I  did  not  approve  of  the  fight  that  was  being  waged 
against  Wilhelm  II.  In  him  I  saw  not  only  the  German 
Emperor  but  also  the  creator  of  the  German  navy.  The 
restriction  of  speech  which  the  Reichstag  imposed  on  the 
Kaiser  annoyed  me  very  much  for  the  simple  reason  that 
it  was  issued  by  that  institution  which  in  my  opinion  had 
really  no  authority  to  do  so,  especially  as  during  one  single 
session  these  parliamentarian  ganders  produced  more 
honking  nonsense  than  a  whole  dynasty  of  emperors,  its 
sorriest  weaklings  included,  could  have  produced  in 
centuries. 

I  was  indignant  at  the  fact  that  in  a  State  where  every 
halfwit  not  only  claimed  the  right  to  criticize,  but  where  in 
the  Reichstag  he  was  let  loose  on  the  nation  as  a  '  legislator/ 
the  bearer  of  the  imperial  crown  could  be  given  'repri- 
mands' by  the  greatest  babbling  institution  of  all  time. 

It  infuriated  me  even  more  that  the  same  Viennese  press 
which  made  the  deepest  curtsy  even  to  the  lowest  of  the 
Court  nags,  and  which  was  beside  itself  with  joy  at  the 
accidental  waving  of  its  tail,  now  with  an  apparently  sorrow- 
ful mien  —  but,  as  I  thought,  with  ill-concealed  malice  — 
expressed  its  objections  against  the  German  Kaiser.  It  was 


advocated  parliamentary  government,  and  criticised  the  all- 
highest —  Kaiser  Wilhelm  II.  Here  is  one  reason  why  he 
would  later  on  throw  German  Catholics  and  Marxists  into  one 
pot.  Both  were  upon  occasion  critical  of  the  Prussian  znon- 
archs,  and  both  were  dyed-in-the-wool  advocates  of  parliamen- 
tary procedure.  In  Austria  he  had  no  reason  to  make  this 
identification.  Because  they  felt  that  the  Habsburgs  had  often 
failed  to  support  the  cause  of  the  Church,  numerous  groups  of 
Catholics  had  waxed  critical  of  the  monarchy. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          71 

farthest  from  its  intentions  to  interfere  with  the  affairs 
of  the  German  Reich  —  no,  God  forbid!  —  but  by  placing 
a  friendly  finger  on  these  wounds  one  fulfilled  the  duty 
imposed  by  the  mutual  alliance,  and  on  the  other  hand, 
one's  duty  to  journalistic  truth,  etc.  Now  this  finger  probed 
about  in  the  wound  to  its  heart's  content. 

Such  things  made  the  blood  rush  to  my  head. 

It  was  this  that  made  me  look  upon  the  great  press  with 
increasing  caution. 

I  had  to  admit,  however,  that  one  of  the  anti-Semitic 
papers,  the  Deutsche  Volkszeitung,  behaved  better  on  one 
of  these  occasions. 

The  disgusting  veneration  which  the  press  even  then 
expressed  for  France  got  on  my  nerves.  One  had  to  be 
ashamed  of  being  a  German  when  seeing  these  sweetish 
hymns  of  praise  to  the  'great  culture  nation.'  More  than 
once  this  wretched  wooing  of  France  made  me  put  down 
one  of  these  'world  papers.'  I  turned  more  and  more  to  the 
Volksblatt,  which  I  considered  much  smaller  but  which  was 
also  much  cleaner  than  the  other  papers  as  far  as  these 
things  were  concerned.  I  did  not  agree  with  its  sharp  anti- 
Semitic  tone,  but  now  and  then  I  read  explanations  which 
made  me  stop  to  think. 

At  any  rate  and  because  of  this,  I  gradually  learned  to 
know  the  man  and  the  movement  who  ruled  Vienna's 
destiny:  Doktor  Karl  Lueger  and  the  Christian  Socialist 
Party. 


Karl  Lueger  (1844-1910)  founded  the  Christian-Social  Party 
(to  which  Dr.  Engelbert  Dollf  uss  and  Dr.  Kurt  von  Schuschnigg 
belonged)  on  the  basis  of  a  program  that  combined  a  good 
deal  of  progressive  municipal  legislation  with  a  shrewd  aware- 
ness of  the  political  values  latent  in  popular  anti-Semitism. 
He  had  a  Jewish  ancestor  in  his  family  tree,  had  numerous 
Jewish  friends,  and  as  Mayor  of  Vienna  issued  the  slogan. 


72  MEIN  KAMPF 

When  I  first  came  to  Vienna  I  was  inimical  to  both  of 
them. 

In  my  opinion,  the  man  and  the  movement  were  're- 
actionary/ 

f  My  usual  sense  of  justice  made  me  change  this  opinion 
as  I  had  the  opportunity  of  getting  acquainted  with  the 
man  and  the  movement;  and  slowly  my  fair  judgment 
turned  into  open  admiration.  Today  more  than  before  I  look 
upon  this  man  as  the  greatest  German  mayor  of  all  times. 

How  many  of  my  deliberate  opinions  were  thrown  over 
by  my  change  of  attitude  towards  the  Christian  Socialist 
movement! 

When  because  of  this  my  opinions  in  regard  to  anti- 
Semitism  also  slowly  began  to  change  in  the  course  of  time, 
it  was  probably  my  most  serious  change. 

This  change  caused  me  most  of  my  severe  mental  strug- 

4 1  am  the  one  who  decides  who  is  a  Jew.'  Nevertheless  Lueger's 
newspaper,  the  Volksblatt  read  by  Hitler,  was  so  violently  anti- 
Semitic  that  the  Archbishop  of  Vienna  rebuked  it  in  a  Pastoral 
Letter  which  denounced  'heathenish  race  hatred.'  To  this 
Lueger  retorted  that  to  his  great  surprise  and  sorrow  he  found 
that  the  Archbishop  was  'liberal  through  and  through.'  Rome 
took  no  definitive  stand  in  the  matter,  the  Papal  Nuncio  sup- 
porting the  Archbishop  while  Cardinal  Rampolla,  then  Papal 
Secretary  of  State,  held  a  protecting  hand  over  Lueger.  The 
Volksblatt  is  indubitably  a  storehouse  of  information  on  the 
subject  of  Hitler's  development.  There  one  finds  used,  for 
example,  the  word  voclkisch  —  'folkish,'  i.e.,  pertaining  to 
one's  people,  which  is  both  'race'  and  'nation.'  Even  more 
delectable  to  Hitler  were  Lueger's  constant  brushes  with  the 
Emperor.  Into  this  same  period  of  time  there  also  falls  the 
origin  of  statements  that  the  Talmud  teaches  pernicious  ethics, 
encouraging  Jews  to  gouge  their  Christian  neighbors  in  every 
possible  way.  Dr.  August  Rohling's  book,  Der  Talmud  Judt 
(The  Talmud  Jew),  appeared  in  1871,  was  widely  read  or 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING          73 

gles,  and  only  after  months  of  agonizing  between  reason 
and  feeling,  victory  began  to  favor  reason.  Two  years  later 
feeling  had  followed  reason,  and  from  now  on  became  its 
most  faithful  guard  and  monitor. 

In  the  period  of  this  bitter  struggle  between  spiritual 
education  and  cold  reasoning,  the  pictures  that  the  streets 
of  Vienna  showed  me  rendered  me  invaluable  services. 
The  time  came  when  I  no  longer  walked  blindly  through 
the  mighty  city  as  I  had  done  at  first,  but,  with  open  eyes, 
looked  at  the  people  as  well  as  the  buildings.  <• 

One  day  when  I  was  walking  through  the  inner  city, 
I  suddenly  came  upon  a  being  clad  in  a  long  caftan,  with 
black  curls. 

Is  this  also  a  Jew?  was  my  first  thought. 

At  Linz  they  certainly  did  not  look  like  that.  Secretly 
and  cautiously  I  watched  the  man,  but  the  longer  I  stared 
at  this  strange  face  and  scrutinized  one  feature  after  the 
other,  the  more  my  mind  reshaped  the  first  question  into 
another  form : 

Is  this  also  a  German? 

As  was  my  custom  in  such  cases,  I  tried  to  remove  my 
doubts  by  reading.  For  the  first  time  in  my  life  I  bought 
some  anti-Semitic  pamphlets  for  a  few  pennies.  They  all 
started  with  the  supposition  that  the  reader  already  knew 
the  Jewish  question  in  principle  or  understood  it  to  a  certain 


quoted  from  in  subsequent  decades,  and  is  still  today  the  source 
from  which  all  such  accusations  derive.  It  was  debated  pro 
and  con  at  the  time,  being  the  object  of  litigation  from  which 
Rohling  withdrew.  Doubtless  Hitler's  anti-Jewish  prejudice 
derives  in  part  from  his  reading  on  this  subject.  For  a  Jewish 
treatment  of  this  matter,  cf.  Erinnerungen  aus  mcinem  Lcben, 
by  Joseph  S.  Bloch  (Vienna,  1922).  For  a  succinct  Catholic 
summary,  cf.  Zeitalter  des  Individualismus,  by  L.  A.  Veit 
(Freiburg,  193*)- 


74  MEIN  KAMPF 

degree.  Finally,  the  tone  was  such  that  I  again  had  doubts 
because  the  assertions  were  supported  by  such  extremely 
unscientific  arguments. 

I  then  suffered  relapses  for  weeks,  and  once  even  for 
months. 

The  matter  seemed  so  monstrous,  the  accusations  so 
unbounded  that  the  fear  of  committing  an  injustice  tortured 
me  and  made  me  anxious  and  uncertain  again. 

However,  even  I  could  no  longer  actually  doubt  that 
they  were  not  Germans  with  a  special  religion,  but  an 
entirely  different  race;  since  I  had  begun  to  think  about  this 
question,  since  my  attention  was  drawn  to  the  Jews,  I  began 
to  see  Vienna  in  a  different  light  from  before.  Wherever  I 
went  I  saw  Jews,  and  the  more  I  saw  of  them,  the  sharper 
I  began  to  distinguish  them  from  other  people.  The  inner 
city  especially  and  the  districts  north  of  the  Danube  Canal 
swarmed  with  a  people  which  through  its  appearance  alone 
had  no  resemblance  to  the  German  people. 

Even  if  my  doubts  had  continued,  my  hesitation  was 
finally  dispelled  by  the  attitude  of  part  of  the  Jews  them- 
selves. 

A  great  movement  amongst  them,  which  was  widely 
represented  in  Vienna,  was  determined  to  affirm  the  na- 
tional character  of  Jewry:  the  Zionists. 

It  appeared  as  though  only  part  of  the  Jews  approved  of 
this  attitude  and  the  majority  disagreed  or  even  condemned 
it.  The  appearance,  when  closely  examined,  dissolved  itself 
for  reasons  of  expedience  into  an  evil  mist  of  excuses  or 

Zionism,  as  proclaimed  and  finally  established  by  Theodor 
Herzl,  an  Austrian  Jewish  poet,  was  undoubtedly  the  clear- 
est manifesto  of  the  difficulties  in  which  Austrian  Jews  found 
themselves.  For  it  accepted  a  'national'  status  for  the  Jew  — 
thus  barring  the  route  to  assimilation  —  and  added  that  such 
a  status  led  logically  to  the  ideal  of  separate  Jewish  State. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  75 

even  lies.  For  the  so-called  liberal  Jews  did  not  deny  the 
Zionists  for  being  non-Jewish,  but  for  being  Jews  whose 
open  acknowledgment  of  their  Jewish  nationality  was 
impractical  or  even  dangerous. 

This  did  not  alter  their  internal  solidarity  in  the  least. 

Soon  this  apparent  fight  between  Zionists  and  liberal 
Jews  disgusted  me;  it  was  unreal  throughout,  based  on  lies, 
and  little  suited  to  the  generally  accepted  high  moral 
standard  and  purity  of  this  race. 

The  moral  and  physical  cleanliness  of  this  race  was 
a  point  in  itself.  It  was  externally  apparent  that  these 
were  not  water-loving  people,  and  unfortunately  one  could 
frequently  tell  that  even  with  eyes  closed.  Later  the  smell 
of  these  caftan  wearers  often  made  me  ill.  Added  to  this 
were  their  dirty  clothes  and  their  none  too  heroic  appear- 
ance. 

Perhaps  all  this  was  not  very  attractive;  aside  from  the 
physical  uncleanliness,  it  was  repelling  suddenly  to  discover 
the  moral  blemishes  of  the  chosen  people. 

Nothing  gave  me  more  cause  for  reflection  than  the 
gradually  increased  insight  into  the  activities  of  Jews  in 
certain  fields. 

Was  there  any  form  of  filth  or  profligacy,  above  all  in 
cultural  life,  in  which  at  least  one  Jew  did  not  partici- 
pate? 

When  carefully  cutting  open  such  a  growth,  one  could 
tind  a  little  Jew,  blinded  by  the  sudden  light,  like  a  maggot 
in  a  rotting  corpse. 

The  Jews'  activity  in  the  press,  in  art,  literature,  and  the 
theater,  as  I  learned  to  know  it,  did  not  add  to  their  credit 

These  criticisms  do  not  reflect  actual  critical  study  of  the 
literature  of  the  subject,  but  are  echoes  of  Volksblatt  editorials. 
There  were  some  Jewish  scribes  of  an  objectionable  sort;  and 
they  had  their  gentile  bedfellows.  To  the  great  poets  of 


76  MEIN  KAMPF 

in  my  eyes.  All  unctuous  assertions  were  of  little  or  no 
avail.  It  was  sufficient  to  look  at  the  bill-boards,  to  read 
the  names  of  those  who  produced  these  awful  works  for 
theaters  and  movies  if  one  wanted  to  become  hardened 
for  a  long  time.  This  was  pestilence,  spiritual  pestilence 
with  which  the  people  were  infected,  worse  than  the  Black 
Death  of  former  times!  And  in  what  quantities  this  poison 
was  produced  and  distributed!  Of  course,  the  lower  the 
spiritual  and  the  moral  standard  of  such  an  art  manufac- 
turer, the  greater  his  fertility,  till  such  a  fellow,  like  a 
centrifugal  machine,  splashes  his  dirt  into  the  faces  of 
others.  Besides,  one  must  remember  their  countless  num- 
ber; one  must  remember  that  for  one  Goethe,  Nature  plays 
a  dirty  trick  upon  mankind  in  producing  ten  thousand  such 
scribblers  who,  as  germ  carriers  of  the  worst  sort,  poison  the 
minds  of  the  world. 

It  could  not  be  overlooked  how  terrible  it  was  that  the 
Jew  above  all  was  chosen  in  so  great  a  number  for  this 
disgraceful  task. 

Was  this  to  prove  the  fact  that  the  Jews  were  the  chosen 
people? 

Carefully  I  began  to  examine  the  names  of  those  who 
created  these  unclean  products  of  artistic  life.  The  result 
had  a  devastating  influence  on  my  previous  attitude  to- 


Jewish  extraction,  Hugo  von  Hoffmansthal  or  Karl  Kraus  for 
example,  the  nationalists  were  just  as  ferociously  indifferent 
as  they  were  to  the  literary  efforts  of  Czechs  and  Hungarians. 
This  attitude  was  later  on  transplanted  to  Germany.  Ques- 
tioned as  to  German  post- War  literature,  a  member  of  Papen's 
Cabinet  retorted  in  1933  that  of  course  none  of  it  could  be  any 
good.  A  still  more  logical  sequel  was  the  '  burning  of  the  books f 
in  Nazi  Germany.  Since  then  the  official  report  on  literature 
written  by  racially  inferior  authors  is  eingestampft  —  i.e., 
reduced  to  pulp. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  77 

wards  the  Jews.  No  matter  how  much  my  feeling  resisted, 
Reason  had  to  draw  its  own  conclusions. 

The  fact  was  not  to  be  denied  that  ninety  per  cent  of 
all  literary  and  artistic  rubbish  and  of  theatrical  humbug 
was  due  to  a  race  which  hardly  amounted  to  one-hundredth 
of  all  inhabitants  of  the  country.  Yet  it  was  so. 

Now  I  also  began  to  examine  my  beloved  'world  press' 
from  this  point  of  view. 

The  deeper  I  probed,  the  more  the  subject  of  my  former 
admiration  diminished.  I  could  no  longer  stand  its  style, 
I  had  to  reject  its  contents  on  account  of  its  shallowness, 
the  objectivity  of  ks  presentation  seemed  untrue  rather 
than  honest  truth ;  the  authors,  however,  were  —  Jews. 

Now  I  began  to  notice  tj^MA9H**&i£hin&s  which  previ- 
ously I  had  hardly  seen^djE^giBBJI^attuierstand  others 
which  had  already  ca^ff^Sf^lSS^^^^^, 

Now  I  saw  the  lib«m-5intiide  of  th^^^sjain  a  different 
light;  its  dignified  lapjS^^^ff  £9fiF^$> %tac^Si  or  its 
completely  ignoring  IranK,  w^mv^Sedrd  twapj  a  trick  as 
clever  as  it  was  mWw\he^^riJHpa*  thratripfl  criticisms 
always  dealt  with  JewmK  rathorel  dna-ne^ecJold  they  attack 
anyone  except  the  G«finXThe  sljgtft^ypricks  against 
Wilhelm  II  proved  in  mJ^ghsi^^c^J^^methods,  and  so 
did  the  commendation  of  F^tejSaaBrfrore  and  civilization. 
The  trashy  contents  of  the  novel  now  became  obscene,  and 
the  language  contained  tones  of  a  foreign  race;  the  general 
intention  was  obviously  so  detrimental  to  the  German 
nationality  that  it  could  only  have  been  intentional. 

But  who  had  an  interest  in  this? 

Was  it  all  a  mere  accident? 

Slowly  I  became  uncertain. 

This  development  was  accelerated  by  my  insight  into 
a  series  of  other  events.  This  was  the  conception  of  manners 
and  morality  as  it  was  openly  shown  and  exercised  by 
a  great  number  of  Jews. 


7t  MEIN  KAMPF 

Again  the  life  in  the  street  gave  some  really  evil  demon- 
strations. 

In  no  other  city  ot  western  Europe  could  the  relationship 
between  Jewry  and  prostitution,  and  even  now  the  white 
slave  traffic,  be  studied  better  than  in  Vienna,  with  the 
possible  exception  of  the  seaports  of  Southern  France. 
When  walking  at  night  through  the  streets  and  alleys  of  the 
Leopoldsstadt,  with  every  step  one  could  witness  things 
which  were  unknown  to  the  greater  part  of  the  German 
nation  until  the  war  gave  the  soldiers  on  the  Eastern  Front 
an  opportunity  to  see  similar  things,  or  rather  forced  them 
to  see  them. 

An  icy  shudder  ran  down  my  spine  when  seeing  for  the 
first  time  the  Jew  as  a  cool,  shameless,  and  calculating 
manager  of  this  shocking  vic£,  the  outcome  of  the  scum  of 
the  big  city.  'L  ^f  ^ 

But  then  my  indignation  flare*?  upa 

Now  1  did  not  evade  the  discussidn  <$  the  Jewish  question 
any  longer;  no,  I  sought  itou^:.  A§  Cj&rned  to  look  for  the 
Jew  in  every  field  of  our  Cultural  ajicj^ftistic  l^e>  I  suddenly 
bumped  against  him  in  a  place  where  I* had  never  suspected. 

The  scales  dropped J rom  n\y  eye^<lvhen  I  found  the  Jew 
as  the  leader  of  SociaJ  Dejpiocjrac^i  This  put  an  end  to  a 
long  internal  struggle*  v,, ^_,  "* 

f  During  my  daily  contact  with  my  worker  comrades,  I  was 
struck  by  the  changeability  with  which  they  demonstrated 
different  attitudes  towards  one  and  .the  same  question, 
sometimes  in  the  course  of  a  few  days,  sometimes  even  after 
a  few  hours.  I  could  hardly  understand  how  people  who 
expressed  sensible  opinions  when  talked  to  individually 
suddenly  changed  their  minds  when  influenced  by  the  spell 
of  the  masses.  It  often  made  me  despair.  After  hours  of 
talking  I  often  thought  that  I  had  broken  the  ice  or  cleared 
up  some  nonsense  and  rejoiced  at  my  success,  only  to  find 
to  my  dismay  on  the  following  day  that  I  had  to  start  all 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  79 

over  again;  everything  had  been  in  vain.  The  madness  of 
their  ideas  seemed  to  swing  back  and  forth  like  a  pendulum 
in  perpetual  motion. 

I  could  still  understand  everything:  that  they  were 
dissatisfied  with  their  lot  and  cursed  Fate  for  hitting  them 
so  hard ;  that  they  hated  the  employers  whom  they  looked 
upon  as  the  cruel  executives  of  Fate;  that  they  cursed  the 
authorities  who  in  their  eyes  had  no  understanding  for 
their  situation;  that  they  demonstrated  against  the  high 
cost  of  living  and  marched  in  the  streets  to  make  their 
demands;  all  this  I  could  understand  at  least  without  re- 
course to  reason.  But  what  I  never  understood  was  their 
boundless  hate  towards  their  own  nationality,  how  they 
despised  their  national  greatness,  soiled  its  history  and 
abused  its  heroes. 

The  fight  against  one's  own  race,  against  one's  own  nest 
and  homeland,  was  as  senseless  as  it  was  incomprehensible. 
It  was  unnatural. 

One  could  cure  them  temporarily  of  this  vice,  but  only 
for  days  or  weeks  at  the  most.  If  later  one  met  the  supposed 
convert  again,  he  had  become  the  same  as  before. 

The  unnatural  had  taken  hold  of  him  again. <• 


I  gradually  realized  that  the  Social  Democratic  press 
was  headed  primarily  by  Jews;  but  I  did  not  attach  special 
importance  to  this  fact,  as  it  was  the  same  with  the  other 
newspapers.  But  one  thing  struck  me:  there  was  not  one 
paper  that  employed  Jews  which  had  a  really  national 
tendency,  as  I  understood  it,  based  on  my  education  and 
attitude. 

Now,  although  I  made  an  effort  and  tried  to  read  these 
Marxian  products  of  the  press,  my  aversion  was  intensified ; 
I  tried  to  get  better  acquainted  with  the  producers  of  this 
mass  of  knavery. 


80  MEIN  KAMPF 

They  all  were  Jews  from  the  publishers  downwards. 

I  took  all  the  Social  Democratic  pamphlets  I  could  get 
hold  of  and  traced  the  names  of  their  authors:  they  all  were 
Jews.  I  memorized  the  names  of  all  the  leaders;  the  greater 
part  of  them  were  also  members  of  the  'chosen  people';  no 
matter  if  they  were  representatives  of  the  Reichsrat  or 
secretaries  of  the  unions,  presidents  of  organizations  or 
street  agitators.  One  always  found  the  same  uncanny 
picture.  The  names  Austerlitz,  David,  Adler,  Ellenbogen, 
and  so  forth,  will  remain  in  my  memory  forever. 

One  thing  had  become  clear  to  me:  the  party  with  whose 
little  representatives  I  had  to  fight  the  hardest  struggle 
during  many  months  were  almost  entirely  in  the  hands  of 
a  foreign  race;  it  brought  me  internal  happiness  to  realize 
definitely  that  the  Jew  was  no  German. 

Only  now  I  learned  thoroughly  to  know  the  seducers  of  our 
people. 

Only  a  year  of  my  stay  in  Vienna  had  sufficed  to  con- 
vince me  that  no  worker  was  so  stubborn  as  not  to  give  in  to 
better  knowledge  and  better  arguments.  Gradually  I  be- 
came acquainted  with  their  own  doctrine  and  I  used  it  as 
a  weapon  in  the  battle  for  my  own  internal  conviction. 

Now  success  was  nearly  always  on  my  side. 

It  was  possible  to  save  the  great  masses,  but  only  after 
the  greatest  sacrifices  of  time  and  patience. 

The  theory  of  preponderant  Jewish  leadership  in  Austrian 
Social  Democracy  is  not  substantiated  by  the  facts.  After 
the  War  there  were  quite  a  number  of  Jewish  intellectuals  in 
dominant  positions,  yet  even  then  the  Party  leadership  through- 
out German  Austria  was  overwhelmingly  Aryan.  Moreover  the 
Anschluss,  though  marked  by  wholesale  arrests,  was  character- 
ized by  impressive  leniency  towards  the  former  Socialists,  who 
suffered  little  in  comparison  with  the  Legitimists.  This  would, 
of  course,  not  have  been  the  case  had  the  Socialists  been  as 
non-Aryan  as  Hitler  here  suggests. 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  81 

But  it  was  never  possible  to  free  a  Jew  from  his  convic- 
tions. 

At  that  time  I  was  still  naive  enough  to  try  to  make 
clear  to  them  the  madness  of  their  ideas;  in  my  small  circle 
I  talked  until  my  tongue  was  weary  and  till  my  throat  was 
hoarse,  and  I  thought  I  could  succeed  in  convincing  them 
of  the  destructiveness  of  their  Marxist  doctrine  of  irra- 
tionality; but  the  result  was  only  the  contrary.  It  seemed 
as  though  the  increasing  realization  of  the  destructive 
influence  of  Social  Democratic  theories  would  serve  only  to 
strengthen  their  determination. 

The  more  I  argued  with  them,  the  more  I  got  to  know 
their  dialectics.  First  they  counted  on  the  ignorance  of 
their  adversary;  then,  when  there  was  no  way  out,  they 
themselves  pretended  stupidity.  If  all  this  was  of  no  avail, 
they  refused  to  understand  or  they  changed  the  subject 
when  driven  into  a  corner;  they  brought  up  truisms,  but 
they  immediately  transferred  their  acceptance  to  quite 
different  subjects,  and,  if  attacked  again,  they  gave  way 
and  pretended  to  know  nothing  exactly.  Wherever  one 
attacked  one  of  these  prophets,  one's  hands  seized  slimy 
jelly;  it  slipped  through  one's  fingers  only  to  collect  again 
in  the  next  moment.  If  one  smote  one  of  them  so  thoroughly 
that,  with  the  bystanders  watching,  he  could  but  agree,  and 
if  one  thus  thought  he  had  advanced  at  least  one  step,  one 
was  greatly  astonished  the  following  day.  The  Jew  did  not 
in  the  least  remember  the  day  before,  he  continued  to  talk 
in  the  same  old  strain  as  if  nothing  had  happened,  and  if 
indignantly  confronted,  he  pretended  to  be  astonished  and 
could  not  remember  anything  except  that  his  assertions 
had  already  been  proved  true  the  day  before. 

Often  I  was  stunned. 

One  did  not  know  what  to  admire  more:  their  glibness  of 
tongue  or  their  skill  in  .lying. 

I  gradually  began  to  hate  them. 


82  MEIN  KAMPF 

All  this  had  one  good  side:  in  the  measure  in  which  the 
bearers,  or  at  least  the  propagators,  of  Social  Democracy 
caught  my  attention,  my  love  for  my  own  people  grew. 
Knowing  the  infernal  versatility  of  these  seducers,  who 
dared  to  condemn  the  unhappy  victims?  How  difficult 
I  found  it  myself  to  master  the  dialectical  lies  of  this  race! 
How  futile  was  success  with  people  who  turned  truth  into 
untruth,  who  denied  the  word  that  just  has  been  spoken 
only  to  claim  it  as  their  own  the  very  next  minute! 

No.  The  better  I  learned  to  know  the  Jew,  the  more  1 
had  to  forgive  the  worker. 

In  my  eyes  the  fault  was  not  his  but  theirs  who  did  not 
consider  it  worth  while  to  take  pity  on  him,  to  give  the  son 
of  the  nation  what  was  his  due,  and  to  smash  the  seducer 
and  corrupter  against  the  wall. 

Influenced  by  the  experiences  of  everyday  life,  I  myself 
began  to  trace  the  sources  of  the  Marxist  doctrine.  Its 
workings  had  become  clear  to  me  in  detail,  my  observant 
eye  daily  watched  its  success,  and  with  a  little  imagination 
I  was  able  to  picture  its  consequences.  The  only  remaining 
question  was  whether  its  founders  imagined  the  result  ot 
their  creation  in  its  ultimate  form,  or  whether  they  them- 
selves were  victims  of  an  error. 

In  my  opinion  both  were  possible. 

On  the  one  hand  it  was  the  duty  of  every  thinking  human 
being  to  join  the  front  ranks  of  the  unhappy  movement 
to  prevent  the  worst  possible  disaster;  on  the  other,  the 
instigators  of  this  national  illness  must  have  been  devils 
incarnate;  only  in  the  brains 'of  a  monster  —  not  in  the 
brains  of  a  human  being  —  could  the  plan  for  an  organiza- 
tion take  shape  and  meaning,  an  organization  whose 
activity  must  lead  to  the  ultimate  collapse  of  human 
culture  and  with  it  the  devastation  of  the  world. 

In  this  case  the  only  remaining  salvation  was  fight;  a 
fight  with  all  weapons  which  the  human  mind,  reason,  and 


YEARS  OF  STUDY  AND  SUFFERING  83 

will  power  are  able  to  grasp,  no  matter  which  side  will  then 
be  favored  by  Fate. 

Thus  I  began  to  make  myself  acquainted  with  the  found- 
ers of  this  doctrine,  in  order  to  study  the  principles  of  the 
movement.  The  fact  that  I  reached  my  goal  more  quickly 
than  I  dared  to  hope  at  first  was  due  to  the  knowledge  I  had 
gained  of  the  Jewish  question,  though  at  that  time  it  had 
not  gone  very  deep.  This  alone  made  possible  a  practical 
comparison  between  reality  and  the  theoretical  bragging  of 
the  apostles  who  founded  Social  Democracy,  as  it  had 
taught  me  to  understand  the  language  of  the  people;  they 
talk  in  order  to  conceal  or  at  least  to  veil  their  thoughts; 
their  real  aim  cannot  be  discovered  on  the  lines,  but  slum- 
bers well  hidden  between  them. 

This  was  the  time  in  which  the  greatest  change  I  was 
ever  to  experience  took  place  in  me. 

From  a  feeble  cosmopolite  I  had  turned  into  a  fanatical 
anti-Semite. 

Only  once  more  —  it  was  the  last  time  —  I  was  sur- 
rounded with  depressing  thoughts  in  my  state  of  deepest 
despair. 

While  thus  examining  the  working  of  the  Jewish  race 
over  long  periods  of  history,  the  anxious  question  suddenly 
occurred  to  me  whether  perhaps  inscrutable  Destiny,  for 
reasons  unknown  to  us  poor  mortals,  had  not  unalterably 
decreed  the  final  victory  of  this  little  race? 

Had  this  race,  which  always  had  lived  only  for  this  world, 
been  promised  the  world  as  a  reward? 

Have  we  the  right  to  fight  objectively  for  our  self- 
preservation,  or  is  this  rooted  in  us  only  subjectively? 

While  thoroughly  studying  the  Marxist  doctrine  and  by 
looking  at  the  Jewish  people's  activity  with  calm  clarity, 
Destiny  itself  gave  me  the  answer. 

The  Jewish  doctrine  of  Marxism  rejects  the  aristocratic 
principle  in  nature;  instead  of  the  eternal  privilege  of  force 


84  MEIN  KAMPF 

and  strength,  it  places  the  mass  of  numbers  and  its  dead- 
weight. Thus  it  denies  the  value  of  the  individual  in  man, 
disputes  the  meaning  of  nationality  and  race,  depriving 
mankind  of  the  assumption  for  its  existence  and  culture. 
As  the  basis  of  the  universe  it  would  lead  up  to  the  end  of  all 
order  conceivable  to  man.  And  as  in  this  greatest  discernible 
organism  only  chaos  could  be  the  result  of  the  application 
of  such  a  law,  so  on  this  earth  the  decline  of  its  inhabitants 
would  be  the  result. 

If,  with  the  help  of  the  Marxian  creed,  the  Jew  conquers 
the  nations  of  this  world,  his  crown  will  become  the  funeral 
wreath  of  humanity,  and  once  again  this  planet,  empty  of 
mankind,  will  move  through  the  ether  as  it  did  thousands 
of  years  ago. 

Eternal  Nature  inexorably  revenges  the  transgressions 
of  her  laws. 

Therefore,  I  believe  today  that  I  am  acting  in  the  sense 
of  the  Almighty  Creator:  By  warding  off  the  Jews  I  am 
fighting  for  the  Lord's  work. 


CHAPTER  III 

GENERAL  POLITICAL  CONSIDERA- 
TIONS FROM  MY  TIME  IN  VIENNA 


I 


f  IT  IS  my  conviction  today  that  a  man  should  not  take 
any  active  public  part  in  politics  before  the  age  of  thirty, 
except  in  cases  of  outstanding  ability.  He  should  not  do 
so  because  up  to  that  time  the  formation  of  a  general  plat- 
form takes  place  from  which  he  examines  the  various 
political  problems  and  defines  his  own  final  attitude  to- 
wards them.  The  man  who  has  now  matured  at  least 
mentally  may  or  should  take  part  in  the  political  guidance 
of  the  community  only  after  reaching  a  fundamental  view 
of  life  and,  with  it,  a  stability  of  his  own  way  of  looking 
at  the  individual  current  problems. 

If  this  is  not  the  case,  he  runs  the  risk  that  some  day  he 
will  have  to  change  his  attitude  towards  vital  questions, 
or,  despite  his  better  knowledge  and  belief,  to  uphold 
points  of  view  which  reason  and  conviction  have  long  since 
rejected.  The  first  case  is  very  embarrassing  for  him,  for 
now  personally  uncertain,  he  has  no  longer  the  right  to 
expect  that  his  followers  have  the  same  unshakable  belief 
in  him  as  before ;  such  a  reversal  on  the  part  of  the  leader 
brings  uncertainty  to  his  followers  and  frequently  a  certain 
feeling  of  embarrassment  as  regards  those  they  have  been 
fighting.  But  in  the  second  case  there  may  happen  what 


86  MEIN  KAMPF 

we  so  frequently  see  today:  in  the  same  measure  in  which 
the  leader  no  longer  believes  in  what  he  said,  his  defense 
will  be  hollow  and  shallow,  and  he  will  be  base  in  his  choice 
of  means.  While  he  himself  no  longer  thinks  seriously  of 
defending  his  political  revelations  (one  does  not  die  for 
something  one  does  not  believe  in),  the  demands  he  makes 
of  his  followers  become  greater  and  more  impudent,  till 
finally  he  sacrifices  what  is  left  of  the  leader  in  order  to 
end  up  as  a  'politician' ;  that  means  that  kind  of  man  whose 
only  real  conviction  is  to  have  no  conviction,  combined 
with  impudent  obtrusiveness  and  the  brazen-faced  artful- 
ness of  lying. 

If  such  a  fellow,  to  the  misfortune  of  decent  people,  be- 
comes a  member  of  a  parliament,  it  should  be  known  from 
the  beginning  that  the  meaning  of  politics  for  him  is  only 
the  heroic  struggle  for  the  feeding  bottle  for  himself  and 
his  family.  The  closer  his  wife  and  children  cling  to  it, 
the  more  tenaciously  will  he  stick  to  his  mandate.  This 
alone  makes  all  other  men  with  political  instincts  his 
enemies;  in  every  new  movement  he  suspects  the  possible 
beginning  of  the  end,  and  in  every  man  greater  than  him- 
self he  scents  the  probability  of  a  renewed  danger  which 
threatens  him. 

I  will  speak  of  these  parliamentary  bedbugs  in  detail 
later  on. 

A  man  of  thirty  will  also  have  to  learn  a  lot  more  in  the 
course  of  his  life,  but  this  will  only  be  the  supplement  to, 
and  the  filling-out  of,  the  frame  which  his  view  of  life 
places  before  him.  His  learning  will  no  longer  be  a  re- 
learning  in  principle,  but  an  adding  to  what  he  has  learned, 
and  his  followers  will  not  have  to  swallow  the  oppressing 
feeling  that  so  far  he  has  taught  them  the  wrong  ideas; 
on  the  contrary:  the  visible  organic  growth  of  the  leader 
will  give  them  satisfaction,  as  his  learning  means  only  the 
deepening  of  their  own  doctrine.  This  is,  in  their  eyes, 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    87 

the  proof  for  the  truth  of  the  opinions  they  have  held  so 
fan 

The  leader  who  has  to  give  up  the  platform  of  his  general 
view  of  life  because  he  found  that  it  was  wrong  only  acts 
with  decency  if  he  is  ready  to  face  the  ultimate  consequences 
from  the  realization  that  his  previous  views  have  been 
wrong.  In  such  a  case  he  must  for  all  future  times  renounce 
at  least  all  public  political  activity.  As  he  has  been  already 
once  the  victim  of  a  basic  error,  the  possibility  exists  that 
this  may  happen  a  second  time.  On  no  account  is  he  entitled 
to  continue  to  utilize,  or  even  demand,  the  confidence  of 
his  fellow  citizens. 

The  general  profligacy  of  the  cads  who  today  consider 
themselves  authorized  to  'make'  politics  hardly  lives  up 
to  his  standard  of  decency. 

Hardly  one  of  them  is  predestined  for  this  task. 

I  restrained  myself  from  appearing  in  public,  though  I 
believe  that  I  have  occupied  myself  with  politics  more 
than  many  others.  I  talked  of  what  occupied  my  mind  or 
attracted  me  only  in  the  narrowest  circle.  This  speaking 
within  the  most  limited  frame  had  many  advantages;  I 
learned  less  to  'speak*  than  to  gain  an  insight  into  the  un- 
believably primitive  opinions  and  arguments  of  the  people. 
Thus  I  trained  myself  for  my  own  further  education  with- 
out losing  time  or  ignoring  opportunities.  Nowhere  in 
Germany  was  the  opportunity  for  this  so  favorable  as  in 
Vienna  at  that  time.  •<• 


The  general  political  thinking  in  the  old  Danubian 
monarchy  was  wider  and  more  comprehensive  in  scope 
than  in  the  old  Germany,  except  for  parts  of  Prussia, 
Hamburg,  and  the  North  Sea  coast  at  that  period.  By 
'Austria1  I  mean,  in  this  case,  that  part  of  the  great  Habs- 
burg  realm  which,  in  consequence  of  its  German  coloniza- 


88  MEIN  KAMPF 

don,  not  only  gave  in  every  respect  the  original  conditions 
for  the  formation  of  this  State  as  a  whole,  but  the  popula- 
tion of  which  showed  that  force  that  exclusively  for  many 
centuries  was  able  to  give  the  inner  cultural  life  to  this 
artificial  formation.  The  more  time  advanced,  the  more 
the  existence  and  the  future  of  this  State  depended  on  the 
maintenance  of  this  germ  cell  of  the  realm. 

While  the  old  hereditary  lands  represented  the  heart 
of  the  realm  which  continuously  pumped  fresh  blood  into 
the  circulatory  system  of  its  political  and  cultural  life, 
Vienna  combined  its  brains  and  will  power. 

Even  the  outward  appearance  of  this  city  revealed  the 
force  it  required  to  rule  as  the  uniting  queen  over  this 
conglomerate  of  nations,  so  that  the  splendor  of  her  beauty 
made  one  forget  the  signs  of  approaching  age  of  the  whole. 

No  matter  how  much  the  interior  of  the  realm  might 
twitch  during  the  bloody  struggles  of  the  various  nationali- 
ties, the  countries  abroad,  especially  Germany,  saw  only 
the  lovely  picture  of  that  city.  The  delusion  was  the  greater 
as  Vienna  in  those  days  seemed  to  rise,  perhaps  for  the  last 
time,  visibly  and  higher  than  before.  Under  the  rule  of  a 
really  ingenious  mayor  the  venerable  imperial  residence 
of  the  emperors  of  the  old  realm  once  more  awoke  to  a 
wonderfully  young  life.  Officially,  the  last  great  German 
whom  the  ranks  of  the  colonizing  people  of  the  Ostmark 
brought  forth  was  not  counted  among  the  so-called  'states* 
men* ;  but  while  Doktor  Lueger,  as  mayor  of  the  'capital 
and  the  imperial  residential  city'  of  Vienna,  produced  as 
if  by  magic  one  amazing  achievement  after  the  other  in 
nearly  all  domains  of  economic  and  cultural  politics,  he 
strengthened  the  heart  of  the  entire  realm,  and  in  this 
roundabout  fashion  he  became  a  statesman  greater  than 
all  the  so-called  'diplomats'  of  that  period  put  together. 

If  nevertheless  the  conglomeration  of  the  nationalities 
called  'Austria9  perished  in  the  end,  this  does  not  speak 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    89 

unfavorably  in  the  least  of  the  political  ability  of  the 
German  nationality  in  the  old  Ostmark,  for  it  was  the  in- 
evitable result  of  the  impossibility  of  trying  to  safeguard 
permanently  with  the  help  of  ten  million  people  a  State  of 
fifty  million  people  of  various  nationalities,  unless  definite 
suppositions  were  established  in  time. 
The  German-Austrian  thought  in  more  than  large  terms, 
He  was  always  accustomed  to  living  within  the  frame  of 
a  great  realm,  and  he  never  lost  his  understanding  for  the 
tasks  connected  with  it.  He  was  the  only  one  in  this  State 
who  saw,  beyond  the  boundaries  of  the  narrow  crownland, 
the  frontiers  of  the  Reich ;  even  when  Destiny  finally  sepa- 
rated him  from  the  common  motherland,  he  still  tried  to 
master  the  enormous  task  and  to  guard  for  the  German 
nationality  what  his  forefathers  once  had  wrested  from 
the  East  in  never-ending  struggles.  Whereby  one  should 
remember  that  this  could  only  be  done  with  divided  energy ; 
for  the  hearts  and  the  memories  of  the  best  men  never 
ceased  to  feel  sympathy  for  the  common  motherland,  and 
only  the  rest  remained  to  the  homeland. 

The  German-Austrian's  general  horizon  already  was 
comparatively  wide.  His  economic  relations  frequently 
included  almost  the  entire  many-sided  realm.  Nearly  all 
great  enterprises  were  in  his  hands,  he  supplied  the  greater 
part  of  the  leading  technical  experts  and  officials.  But  he 
was  also  the  representative  of  the  foreign  trade,  as  far 
as  the  Jew  had  not  laid  his  hands  upon  this  domain  which 
had  been  his  of  old.  As  regards  politics  the  German  alone 
held  the  State  together.  Even  the  period  of  the  military 
service  in  the  army  thrust  him  far  across  the  narrow  borders 
of  the  homeland.  Though  the  German-Austrian  recruit 
might  enlist  in  a  German  regiment,  it  might  as  possibly  be 
stationed  in  Herzegovina  as  in  Vienna  or  Galicia.  The 
officers'  corps  was  still  German  and  so  was  predominantly 
the  body  of  officials.  Finally,  art  and  science  were  German. 


90  MEIN  KAMPF 

Apart  from  the  trash  of  the  modern  development  of  art, 
which  might  just  as  well  have  been  produced  by  a  Negro 
race,  the  German  was  the  sole  owner  and  propagator  of  a 
truly  artistic  mind.  In  music,  architecture,  sculpture,  and 
painting,  Vienna  was  the  fountain  which  in  inexhaustible 
profusion  supplied  the  entire  dual  monarchy  without  ever 
visibly  drying  up. 

Finally,  the  German  nation  was  also  the  pillar  of  the 
entire  field  of  foreign  politics,  if  one  excepted  a  small 
number  of  Hungarians. 

Yet  every  attempt  at  preserving  the  realm  was  in  vain, 
since  the  essentials  were  missing. 

In  the  Austrian  State  of  nationalities  there  was  but  one 
way  by  which  it  could  conquer  the  centrifugal  forces  of  its 
various  nations.  Either  the  State  was  governed  from  the 
center  and  organized  in  the  same  way  internally,  or  it 
was  altogether  unthinkable. 

This  knowledge  dawned  on  the  Very  highest1  authority 
in  various  enlightened  moments,  but  in  most  cases  it  was 
soon  forgotten  or  put  aside  as  being  too  difficult  to  be 
carried  out.  Every  idea  of  giving  the  realm  a  more  feder- 
alistic  form  was  bound  to  fail  in  consequence  of  the  absence 
of  a  strong  germ  cell  of  superior  force  in  the  State.  To  this 
was  added  the  various  other  internal  conditions  of  the 
Austrian  State  which  in  principle  differed  from  those  of 
the  German  Reich  of  Bismarck.  In  Germany,  the  main 
problem  was  only  to  overcome  political  tradition,  as  there 
always  had  been  a  common  cultural  basis.  But  the  Reich, 
with  the  exception  of  a  few  foreign  splinters,  possessed  only 
members  of  one  race. 

In  Austria  the  situation  was  the  reverse. 

Here  the  political  memory  of  the  various  nations'  own 
greatness,  except  for  Hungary,  was  either  entirely  lacking, 
or  it  had  been  wiped  out  by  the  sponge  of  time,  or  at  least 
was  blurred  and  indistinct.  To  make  up  for  this,  in  the 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    91 

period  of  the  development  of  the  principle  of  nationalities, 
the  various  countries  began  to  develop  popular  forces;  the 
conquering  of  these  forces  became  the  more  difficult  as 
nation-States  began  to  form  themselves  on  the  border  of 
the  monarchy  whose  people  were  either  similar  or  racially 
related  to  the  individual  Austrian  national  splinters  and 
they  were  now  able  to  exercise  a  greater  force  of  attraction 
than  that  possible  to  the  German -Austrian. 

Even  Vienna  was  not  able  to  keep  up  this  fight  in  the 
long  run. 

With  Budapest's  development  into  a  capital,  Vienna 
was  for  the  first  time  faced  with  a  rival  whose  task  was  no 
longer  the  concentration  of  the  entire  monarchy,  but  rather 
the  strengthening  of  one  of  its  parts.  After  a  short  time 
Prague  was  to  follow  this  example,  then  came  Lemberg, 
Laibach,  etc.  With  the  rise  of  these  one-time  provincial 
towns  to  national  capitals  of  the  individual  countries, 
there  were  now  also  formed  centers  for  a  growing  independ- 
ent cultural  life.  It  was  only  through  this  that  the  national 
political  instincts  now  received  their  spiritual  foundation 
and  depth.  Thus  the  time  was  bound  to  come  when  the 
driving  forces  of  the  individual  nationalities  became  more 
powerful  than  the  force  of  their  combined  interests,  and 
then  Austria  would  be  done  for. 

Since  the  death  of  Joseph  II,  the  course  of  this  develop- 
ment could  be  distinctly  traced.  Its  speed  depended  on  a 
series  of  factors  which  were  partly  rooted  in  the  monarchy 
itself,  but  which  were,  on  the  other  hand,  the  results  of  the 
position  of  the  realm  in  foreign  politics. 

If  the  struggle  for  the  preservation  of  the  State  was  to 
be  taken  up  seriously  and  fought  to  a  finish,  a  ruthless  and 
persistent  centralization  alone  could  lead  to  the  goal.  But 
the  homogeneity  was  to  be  stressed  by  the  establishment 
in  principle  of  a  uniform  State  language,  while  the  admin- 
istration was  to  be  given  the  technical  instrument  without 


92  MEIN  KAMPF 

which  such  a  State  simply  cannot  exist.  Only  then  could 
permanent  uniform  State  consciousness  be  cultivated 
through  schools  and  education.  This  could  not  be  achieved 
in  the  course  of  ten  or  twenty  years;  one  had  to  count  on 
centuries,  as  in  all  questions  of  colonization  persistency 
plays  a  more  important  rdle  than  the  energy  of  the  moment. 

That  the  administration  and  the  political  guidance  have 
then  to  be  carried  out  in  strict  uniformity  is  obvious. 

It  is  now  very  enlightening  for  me  to  establish  why  this 
did  not  happen,  or  rather,  why  it  had  not  been  done.  Only 
he  who  was  guilty  of  this  omission  was  also  guilty  of  the 
collapse  of  the  realm. 

Old  Austria,  more  than  any  other  State,  depended  on 
the  greatness  of  its  leaders.  Here  the  foundation  of  the 
national  State  was  missing,  which  always  possesses  a  power 
of  preservation  in  its  national  basis,  no  matter  how  weak 
the  leaders  may  be.  The  uniformly  national  State,  thanks 
to  the  inherent  indolence  of  its  inhabitants  and  the  powers 
of  resistance  connected  with  it,  can  sometime  sustain  itself 
for  astoundingly  long  periods  of  incompetent  administration 
or  government,  without  thereby  destroying  its  internal 
existence.  Often  it  seems  as  though  there  were  no  more 
life  in  such  a  body,  as  though  it  were  dead  and  done  for, 
till  suddenly  the  supposedly  dead  rises  again  and  gives  the 
rest  of  mankind  astonishing  proofs  of  its  imperishable 
force  of  life. 

It  is  different,  however,  with  a  realm  which  is  not  com- 
posed of  similar  nationalities  and  which  is  not  kept  to- 
gether by  common  blood  but  by  a  common  fist.  Here 
every  weakness  of  the  leadership  will  not  cause  the  State 
to  hibernate,  but  it  will  cause  an  awakening  of  all  individual 
instincts  which  are  present  by  virtue  of  blood  and  race, 
but  which  have  no  chance  of  developing  in  times  of  pre- 
dominating will  power.  Only  centuries  of  common  educa- 
tion, common  tradition,  common  interests,  etc..  can  miti- 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    93 

gate  this  danger.  Therefore  such  State  formations,  the 
younger  they  are  the  more  will  they  depend  on  the  compe- 
tence of  the  leadership;  even  if  they  are  the  works  of  men 
of  overwhelming  force  and  of  spiritual  heroes,  they  will 
fall  to  pieces  after  the  death  of  their  one  great  founder. 
But  even  after  centuries  these  dangers  cannot  be  regarded 
as  overcome;  they  merely  slumber,  and  often  awake  quite 
suddenly  as  soon  as  the  weakness  of  the  common  leader- 
ship, the  force  of  education,  and  the  sublimity  of  all  tradi- 
tions are  no  longer  able  to  overcome  the  sweep  of  the  in- 
dividual vital  instinct  of  the  various  tribes. 

The  failure  to  understand  this  is  perhaps  the  tragic  guilt 
of  the  House  of  Habsburg. 

For  only  one  of  them  did  Fate  uphold  the  torch  over  the 
future  of  his  country,  then  it  was  extinguished  forever. 

Joseph  II,  Roman  Emperor  of  the  German  Nation,  saw 
with  trembling  fear  that  his  house,  pushed  toward  the 
most  remote  corner  of  the  realm,  was  bound  to  disappear 
in  the  maelstrom  of  a  Babylon  of  nationalities  unless  the 
shortcomings  of  his  forefathers  were  made  good  in  the 
eleventh  hour.  This  'friend  of  man'  opposed  with  super- 
human force  the  neglect  of  his  ancestors  and  tried  to 
recover,  in  the  course  of  a  decade,  what  centuries  had  let 


Joseph  II  (1765-1790)  was  actuated  by  a  desire  to  strengthen 
the  power  of  Austria,  and  believed  the  means  to  be  adopted 
were  a  strong  central  government  and  a  policy  of  Germaniza- 
tion.  The  official  language  was  to  be  German;  the  Church  was 
to  be  subordinated  to  the  State,  its  servants  being  treated  as 
dependent  on  the  government  in  the  normal  sense  of  the  civil 
service;  and  the  universities  were  to  teach,  in  the  German  lan- 
guage, whatever  would  serve  to  produce  a  well-trained  official. 
These  policies  embroiled  Austria  in  cultural  strife  of  so  serious 
an  import  that  most  of  Joseph's  laws  were  abrogated  before 
his  death. 


94  MEIN  KAMPF 

slip  by.  Had  he  been  granted  forty  years  for  his  work,  and 
had  only  two  generations  continued  after  him  to  carry  out 
what  he  had  begun,  then  the  miracle  would  probably  have 
been  achieved.  But  when  he  died  after  a  reign  of  hardly 
ten  years,  worn  out  in  body  and  soul,  his  work  was  en- 
tombed with  him  never  to  be  awakened  again  and  went  to 
sleep  in  the  crypt  of  the  Capucins  forever. 

His  followers  were  unequal  to  the  task,  either  in  spirit 
or  in  will  power. 

When  the  first  revolutionary  flashes  of  lightning  of  a 
new  era  flamed  through  Europe,  Austria  also  began  gradu- 
ally to  catch  fire.  But  when  at  last  the  fire  broke  out,  it 
was  fanned  not  so  much  by  social  or  general  political  causes, 
but  rather  by  impulsive  forces  of  national  origin. 

The  revolution  of  the  year  1848  may  have  been  a  class 
war  everywhere  else,  but  in  Austria  it  was  the  beginning  of 
a  new  race  struggle.  The  German,  forgetting  or  not  ac- 
knowledging his  origin,  sealed  his  own  doom  by  entering 
into  the  service  of  the  revolutionary  movement.  He  helped 
in  awakening  the  spirit  of  Western  Democracy  which  after 
a  short  time  deprived  him  of  the  foundation  of  his  own 
existence. 

The  foundation  stone  for  the  end  of  the  German  nation- 
ality's domination  in  the  monarchy  was  laid  by  the  forma- 
tion of  a  parliamentary  body  of  representatives  without  the 
establishment  and  the  solidification  of  a  common  State 
language.  But  from  this  moment  on  the  State  itself  was 
doomed.  Everything  that  now  followed  was  only  the 
historical  liquidation  of  a  realm. 

It  was  as  shocking  as  it  was  instructive  to  trace  this 
dissolution.  This  execution  of  an  historical  sentence  was 
carried  out  in  thousands  and  thousands  of  individual 
forms.  That  the  gods  willed  the  destruction  of  Austria 
was  proved  by  the  fact  that  a  goodly  part  of  the  people 
marched  blindly  through  the  signs  of  decline. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    95 

I  do  not  wish  to  lose  myself  in  details,  as  that  is  not  the 
purpose  of  this  book.  I  want  to  include  in  the  circle  of 
closer  observation  only  those  events  which  are  the  constant 
causes  of  the  decline  of  nations  and  States  and  which 
possess  significance  for  our  era  as  well,  and  which  finally 
helped  to  guard  the  principles  of  my  political  thought. 


Among  the  institutions  which  might  have  revealed  the 
disintegration  of  the  Austrian  monarchy,  to  the  bourgeoisie 
who  were  not  blessed  with  very  sharp  eyes,  was  one  which 
should  have  chosen  strength  as  its  greatest  quality  —  the 
parliament,  or,  as  it  is  called  in  Austria,  the  Reichsrat. 

Obviously,  the  example  for  this  body  was  situated  in 
England,  the  country  of  classical  'Democracy.1  The  entire 
blissful  arrangement  was  transplanted  from  that  country 
to  Vienna  with  as  little  change  as  possible. 

The  English  two-chamber  system  celebrated  its  resur- 
rection in  the  Abgeordnetenhaus  and  the  Herrenhaus. 
Only  the  'houses'  themselves  were  somewhat  different. 
When  Barry's  Houses  of  Parliament  reared  themselves  out 
of  the  waters  of  the  Thames,  he  thrust  his  hand  into  the 
history  of  the  British  Empire  and  drew  from  it  the  decora- 
tions for  the  twelve  hundred  niches,  consoles,  and  pillars 
of  this  magnificent  building.  Thus  in  sculpture  and  paint- 
ing the  House  of  Lords  and  the  Commons  became  the 
temple  of  the  nation's  glory. 

This  was  the  first  difficulty  Vienna  encountered.  When 
the  Danish  Hansen  had  completed  the  last  pinnacle  on 
the  marble  building  of  the  new  diet,  he  had  no  choice  but 
to  borrow  decorations  from  the  ancient  Greeks  and  Ro- 
mans. Roman  and  Greek  statesmen  and  philosophers  now 
embellish  this  theater  building  of  'Western  Democracy,' 
and  on  top  of  the  two  houses,  in  symbolical  irony,  the 
quadrigae  [sic]  pull  away  from  each  other  towards  the  four 


96  MEIN  KAMPF 

corners  of  the  globe,  thus  giving  the  truest  external  expres- 
sion of  what  was  then  going  on  internally. 

The  'nationalities'  considered  the  glorification  of  Austrian 
history  in  this  work  an  insult  and  a  provocation,  just  as  in 
the  Reich  proper  one  did  not  dare  to  consecrate  Wallot's 
building,  the  Reichstag,  to  the  German  people  until  the 
thunder  of  the  World  War's  battles  roared. 

I  was  not  quite  twenty  years  old  when  I  went  for  the 
first  time  into  the  magnificent  building  on  the  Franzenring, 
in  order  to  attend  a  meeting  of  the  House  of  Deputies  as  a 
spectator  and  auditor,  and  I  was  filled  with  the  most 
contradictory  feelings. 

I  had  always  hated  the  parliament,  yet  not  at  all  as  an 
institution  in  itself.  On  the  contrary,  as  a  liberal  thinking 
man  I  could  not  imagine  any  other  possible  form  of  govern- 
ment, for  my  attitude  towards  the  House  of  Habsburg 
being  what  it  was,  I  would  have  considered  any  kind  of 
dictatorship  a  crime  against  all  liberty  and  reason. 

In  consequence  of  my  thorough  reading  of  newspapers 
in  my  youth,  I  had  been  inoculated  with  a  certain  admira- 
tion for  the  English  parliament,  although  I  probably  did 
not  suspect  it,  and  this  fact,  which  I  was  not  able  to  give 
up  so  easily,  contributed  not  a  little  to  my  attitude.  The 
dignity  with  which  there  the  House  of  Commons  devoted 
itself  to  its  task  —  our  press  know  how  to  describe  it  so 
nicely  —  made  a  great  impression  on  me.  Was  there  a 
more  dignified  form  of  self-government  of  a  nation  any- 
where? 

For  this  very  reason,  however,  I  was  an  enemy  of  the 
Austrian  parliament.  In  my  opinion  the  entire  form  of  its 
behavior  was  unworthy  of  its  great  prototype.  But  now  the 
following  was  added : 

The  fate  of  the  German  nationality  in  the  Austrian  State 
was  dependent  on  its  position  in  the  Reichsrat.  Up  to  the 
introduction  of  general  suffrage  and  the  secret  ballot,  a 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    97 

German  majority  existed  in  parliament,  insignificant  though 
it  was.  But  this  condition  was  precarious,  for  Social  De- 
mocracy, with  its  unreliable  attitude,  always  turned  against 
the  German  interests  so  as  not  to  estrange  the  followers  of 
the  individual  foreign  nationalities  —  whenever  critical 
questions  concerning  the  German  nationality  were  in- 
volved. Social  Democracy  could  not  be  considered  a 
German  party  even  at  that  time.  With  the  introduction 
of  general  suffrage,  the  German  numerical  superiority  ceased 
to  exist.  Now  the  last  obstacle  to  the  de-Germanization 
of  the  State  was  removed. 

For  this  reason  my  national  instinct  of  self-preservation 
did  not  inspire  me  with  any  love,  for  a  representation  of 
the  people  by  which  the  German  nationality  was  never 
'represented*  but  always  'betrayed.'  But  like  so  many 
other  things,  these  were  faults  that  were  not  due  to  the 
matter  itself,  but  were  to  be  attributed  to  the  Austrian 
State.  In  those  days,  I  still  believed  that  with  the  re- 
establishment  of  the  German  majority  in  the  representative 
bodies  I  would  no  longer  have  any  reason  for  objections  on 
general  principles,  as  long  as  the  old  State  continued  to  exist. 

With  all  this  in  mind,  I  entered  for  the  first  time  the 
sacred  and  much-disputed  rooms.  For  me,  however,  they 
were  only  sacred  because  of  the  sublime  beauty  of  the 
magnificent  building.  It  was  a  Hellenic  miracle  on  German 
soil. 

But  how  indignant  I  was,  even  after  a  short  time,  when 
seeing  the  miserable  comedy  that  was  going  on  before  my 
eyes. 

t  Several  hundred  of  these  representatives  of  the  people 
were  present  who  at  that  moment  had  to  decide  about  a 
question  of  important  economic  significance. 

The  first  day  sufficed  to  give  me  food  for  thought  for 
many  weeks. 

The  spiritual  content  of  what  was  said  was  on  a  truly 


98  MEIN  KAMPF 

depressing  'high  level/  as  far  as  the  talk  was  at  all  intel- 
ligible; for  some  of  the  gentlemen  did  not  speak  German, 
but  their  Slavic  mother  tongue  or  rather  dialects.  What  I 
had  only  known  from  reading  the  papers,  I  now  had  an 
opportunity  of  hearing  with  my  own  ears.  It  was  a  gesticu- 
lating mass,  shrieking  in  all  keys,  wildly  stirred,  presided 
over  by  a  good-natured  old  uncle  who,  by  the  sweat  of  his 
brow,  tried  to  re-establish  the  dignity  of  the  House  by 
violently  ringing  a  bell  and  by  alternately  kind  and  earnest 
remonstrances. 

I  could  not  help  laughing. 

A  few  weeks  later  I  was  again  in  the  House.  The  picture 
had  changed,  it  was  hardly  recognizable.  The  hall  was 
empty.  Down  below  everybody  was  sleeping.  Some  of 
the  deputies  were  in  their  seats  and  yawned  at  each  other, 
one  of  them  'spoke.'  A  vice-president  of  the  House  was 
present,  looking  around  the  hall,  visibly  bored. 

My  first  doubts  arose.  Now,  whenever  time  permitted, 
I  went  there  repeatedly,  and  quietly  and  attentively 
watched  the  scene  of  the  moment,  listened  to  the  speeches 
as  far  as  they  were  intelligible,  studied  the  more  or  less 
intelligent  faces  of  those  elect  of  the  nations  of  this  de- 
plorable State  —  and  gradually  I  formed  my  own  opinions. 

One  year  of  this  quiet  observation  sufficed  to  change, 
or  to  wipe  out  entirely,  my  former  opinion  of  the  nature  of 
this  institution.  Now  my  mind  no  longer  objected  to  this 
misshapen  form  which  this  idea  had  assumed  in  Austria; 
no,  now  indeed  I  was  no  longer  able  to  accept  parliament 
as  such.  So  far  I  had  seen  the  misfortune  of  the  Austrian 
parliament  in  the  absence  of  a  German  majority,  but  now 
I  saw  its  doom  in  the  makeup  and  nature  of  this  institution 
altogether. 

Quite  a  number  of  questions  occurred  to  me  at  that  time. 

I  began  to  familiarize  myself  with  the  democratic  prin- 
ciple of  decision  by  a  majority  as  the  basis  of  this  entire 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    99 

institution,  but  I  paid  no  less  attention  to  the  spiritual 
and  moral  values  of  the  gentlemen,  who,  chosen  by  the 
nation,  were  supposed  to  serve  this  purpose. 

Thus  I  learned  to  know  the  institution,  and  at  the  same 
time,  its  representatives. 

In  "the  course  of  a  few  years,  therefore,  my  knowledge 
and  realization  created  the  type  of  the  most  dignified 
representative  of  modern  times  with  plastic  clarity:  the 
parliamentarian.  He  began  to  make  an  impression  on  me  in 
a  form  which  never  again  underwent  a  fundamental  change. 

This  time,  also,  practical  reality  with  its  object  lessons 
had  guarded  me  against  suffocating  in  a  theory  which  at 
first  sight  appears  so  tempting  to  many  people,  but  which 
nevertheless  must  be  counted  among  the  symptoms  of  the 
decay  of  mankind.  <• 

Democracy  of  the  West  today  is  the  forerunner  of 
Marxism,  which  would  be  inconceivable  without  it.  It  is 
democracy  alone  which  furnishes  this  universal  plague 
with  the  soil  in  which  it  spreads.  In  parliamentarianism, 
its  outward  form  of  expression,  democracy  created  a 
'monstrosity  of  filth  and  fire'  (Spottgeburt  aus  Dreck  und 
Feuer)  in  which,  to  my  regret,  the  'fire'  seems  to  have 
burned  out  for  the  moment. 

I  have  to  be  more  than  thankful  to  Fate  that  it  also 
made  me  examine  this  question  while  I  was  still  in  Vienna, 
for  I  feel  that  had  I  been  in  Germany  I  would  have  found 
the  answer  too  easily.  Had  I  become  acquainted  with  this 
ridiculous  institution  called  'parliament'  for  the  first  time 
in  Berlin,  I  probably  would  have  gone  to  the  opposite 
extreme  and  would  have  joined  the  side  of  those  who  see 
the  salvation  of  the  nation  and  the  Reich  in  the  exclusive 
promotion  of  the  Imperial  power  alone,  and  who  thus 
blindly  and  incomprehensibly  confront  mankind  and  the 
times. 

In  Austria  this  was  impossible. 


100  MEIN  KAMPF 

Here  it  was  not  so  easy  to  fall  from  one  mistake  into 
another.  If  parliament  was  worth  nothing,  the  Habsburgs 
were  worth  still  less,  certainly  no  more.  Here  the  rejec- 
tion of  4  parliamentarianism '  alone  would  not  do ;  for  then 
the  question,  'What  now?'  still  remained.  The  rejection 
and  abolition  of  the  Reichsrat  would  have  left  the  House 
of  Habsburg  as  the  sole  governmental  power,  and  this 
idea  was  especially  unbearable  to  me. 

The  difficulty  of  this  special  case  led  me  to  a  more 
thorough  consideration  of  the  problem  as  a  whole  than 
would  otherwise  have  taken  place  at  such  an  early  age. 

First  and  most  of  all  that  which  gave  me  food  for  thought 
was  the  visible  lack  of  responsibility  on  the  part  of  any 
single  individual. 

Parliament  makes  a  decision  the  consequences  of  which 
may  be  ever  so  devastating  —  nobody  is  responsible  for 

Hitler's  argument  is:  the  Germans  of  1848  were  led  to  water 
the  principles  which  had  guided  their  absolutistic  leaders  with 
'western  democracy/  The  essence  of  this  democracy  is  (he 
holds)  the  grant  of  the  right  of  franchise  and  representation 
to  all  citizens,  with  the  result  that  an  outlet  is  provided  for  the 
hitherto  suppressed  cravings  of  the  masses.  These  want,  how- 
ever, constantly  to  improve  their  lot,  and  so  demand  from 
rather  than  give  to  the  State.  Marxism  is  the  theory  which 
most  effectively  and  audaciously  sponsors  the  needs  of  the 
largest  and  most  destitute  group,  and  therefore  the  movement 
which  exacts  most  from  the  State.  In  Austria  the  Socialists  were 
particularly  reprehensible  because  their  relentless  champion- 
ing of  the  class  struggle  obliterated  '  national '  boundaries  and 
therewith  weakened  the  position  of  the  Empire's  rightful  rulers, 
the  Germans.  In  Germany  the  strength  of  democracy,  symbol- 
ized by  the  Reichstag,  was  far  less  impressive.  This  Reichstag 
had  some  rights  of  importance,  but  waged  a  continuous  struggle 
to  exercise  them  as  a  matter  of  fact.  If  Hitler  had  been  in 
Berlin,  therefore,  he  might  possibly  have  been  content  with  the 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    101 

it,  nobody  can  ever  be  called  to  account.  For,  does  it  mean 
assuming  responsibility  if,  after  an  unheard-of  collapse, 
the  guilty  government  resigns?  Or  if  the  coalition  changes, 
or  even  if  parliament  dissolves  itself? 

Is  it  at  all  possible  to  make  a  wavering  majority  of 
people  ever  responsible? 

Is  not  the  very  idea  of  all  responsibility  closely  con- 
nected with  the  individual? 

Is  it  practically  possible  to  make  the  leading  person  of  a 
government  liable  for  actions,  the  development  and  execu- 
tion of  which  are  to  be  laid  exclusively  to  the  account  of 
the  will  and  the  inclination  of  a  large  number  of  men? 

Or  must  not  the  task  of  the  leading  statesman  be  seen 
in  the  birth  of  a  creative  idea  or  plan  in  itself,  rather  than 
in  the  ability  to  make  the  ingenuity  of  his  plans  under- 
stand taken  by  the  Conservatives  and  as  a  consequence  never 
have  seen  that  salvation  can  come  only  from  a  dictatorship. 

Compare  his  statement  at  the  Niirnberg  Party  Conference 
of  1935 :  'To  build  up  the  public  service  and  the  army  in  accord- 
ance with  the  law  of  personal  responsibility  and  at  the  same 
time  to  fashion  the  general  political  direction  of  the  State 
according  to  the  principles  of  parliamentary  democracy  — 
that  is,  of  irresponsibility  —  is  bound  to  prove  impossible. 
The  democratic  state,  in  its  insecurity,  proved  helpless  against 
the  onslaughts  of  Bolshevistic  Judaism.  Confronted  with  this 
danger,  monarchy  was  found  to  be  equally  ineffectual.  So  were 
the  Christian  confessions.' 

Elaborate  theories  of  totalitarianism  have  since  been  devel- 
oped in  number  by  German  professors  and  writers.  It  may  be 
doubted,  however,  whether  they  have  more  than  an  academic 
significance.  On  the  other  hand,  Hitler's  criticism  of  democracy 
as  powerless  to  ward  off  Bolshevism  had  a  profound  effect 
upon  the  thinking  of  the  middle  classes.  It  is  clear  from  the 
German  newspapers  of  1931  that  many  had  begun  to  think 
that  the  only  choice  remaining  to  them  was  one  between 


102  MEIN  KAMPF 

standable  to  a  flock  of  sheep  and  empty-heads  for  the  pur- 
pose of  begging  for  their  gracious  consent? 

fls  this  the  criterion  of  a  statesman  that  he  masters 
the  art  of  persuasion  to  the  same  extent  as  that  of  the 
diplomatic  shrewdness  in  the  choice  of  great  lines  of  direc- 
tion or  decision? 

Is  the  inability  of  a  leader  proved  by  the  fact  that  he 
does  not  succeed  in  winning  the  majority  of  a  crowd  of 
people  for  a  certain  idea,  dumped  together  by  more  or 
less  fine  accidents? 

Has  this  crowd  ever  been  able  to  grasp  an  idea  before 
its  success  was  proclaimed  by  its  greatness? 

Is  not  every  ingenious  deed  in  this  world  the  visible 
protest  of  genius  against  the  inertia  of  the  masses? 

But  what  is  the  statesman  to  do  who  does  not  succeed 
in  winning,  by  flattery,  the  favor  of  this  crowd  for  his  plans? 

Is  he  to  buy  it? 

Or  is  he  now,  considering  the  stupidity  of  his  fellow 
citizens,  to  give  up  the  carrying-out  of  the  tasks  he  recog- 
nizes as  of  vital  importance,  or  is  he  to  retire,  or  should 
he  still  remain? 

Does  not,  in  such  a  case,  a  real  character  find  himself 
in  an  inextricable  dilemma  between  knowledge  and  de- 
cency, or  rather  honest  conviction? 

Where  is  the  border  that  separates  duty  towards  the 
community  from  the  obligations  of  personal  honor? 

Must  not  every  real  leader  refuse  to  be  degraded  in  such 
a  way  to  the  level  of  a  political  profiteer? 

And  must  not,  on  the  other  hand,  every  profiteer  feel 

Mussolini  and  Stalin.  This  feeling  grew  until  the  carefully 
planned  Reichstag  fire  (both  Centrist  ex-Chancellors,  Dr.  Wirth 
and  Dr  Brtining,  declared  in  public  addresses  a  few  days  after 
the  event  that  it  had  been  carefully  planned)  of  1933  made 
large  groups  of  voters  feel  that  Communism  was  upon  them. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    103 

himself  called  on  to  'make1  politics,  as  it  is  not  he  who 
bears  the  ultimate  responsibility,  but  rather  some  incom- 
prehensible crowd? 

Must  not  our  parliamentary  principle  of  the  majority 
lead  to  the  demolition  of  the  idea  of  leadership  as  a  whole? 

Or  does  one  believe  that  the  progress  of  the  world  has 
originated  in  the  brains  of  majorities  and  not  in  the  head 
of  an  individual? 

Or  are  we  of  the  opinion  that  in  the  future  we  can  do 
without  this  preliminary  presumption  of  human  culture? 

Does  it  not,  on  the  contrary,  appear  more  necessary 
today  than  ever  before?  <<• 

The  parliamentary  principle  of  decision  by  majority,  by 
denying  the  authority  of  the  person  and  placing  in  its 
stead  the  number  of  the  crowd  in  question,  sins  against 
the  aristocratic  basic  idea  of  Nature,  whose  opinion  of 
aristocracy,  however,  need  in  no  way  be  represented  by 
the  present-day  decadence  of  our  Upper  Ten  Thousand. 

The  reader  of  Jewish  newspapers  can  hardly  imagine  the 
devastation  which  results  from  this  institution  of  modern 
democratic  parliamentary  rule,  unless  he  has  learned  to 
think  and  examine  for  himself.  It  is  above  all  the  cause 
of  the  terrible  flooding  of  the  entire  political  life  with  the 
most  inferior  products  of  our  time.  No  matter  how  far 
the  true  leader  withdraws  from  political  activity,  which 
to  a  great  extent  does  not  consist  of  creative  work  and 
achievement,  but  rather  of  bargaining  and  haggling  for  the 
favor  of  a  majority,  this  very  activity,  however,  will  agree 
with  and  attract  the  people  of  low  mentality. 

The  more  dwarfish  the  mentality  and  the  abilities  of 
such  a  present-day  leather  merchant  are,  the  more  clearly 
his  knowledge  makes  him  conscious  of  the  wretchedness  of 
his  actual  appearance,  the  more  will  he  praise  a  system 
that  does  not  demand  of  him  the  strength  and  the  genius 
of  a  giant,  but  rather  which  calls  for  the  cunning  of  a 


104  MEIN  KAMPF 

village  chief  or  which  even  prefers  this  kind  of  wisdom  to 
that  of  a  Pericles.  Such  a  simpleton  need  never  worry 
about  the  responsibility  of  his  actions.  He  is  relieved  of 
this  care  for  the  reason  that  he  knows,  no  matter  what  the 
result  of  his  'statesmanlike'  bungling  may  be,  that  his 
end  has  long  been  predicted  by  the  stars;  some  day  he 
will  have  to  make  room  for  another,  an  equally  great  mind. 
It  is,  among  other  things,  a  symptom  of  such  a  decline 
that  the  number  of  great  statesmen  increases  in  the  meas- 
ure in  which  the  competence  of  the  individual  one  de- 
creases. With  increasing  dependence  on  parliamentary 
majorities,  he  is  bound  to  shrink,  for  great  minds  will 
refuse  to  serve  as  bailiff  for  stupid  good-for-nothings  and 
babblers,  and  on  the  other  hand,  the  representatives  of  the 
majority,  that  is,  of  stupidity,  hate  nothing  more  ardently 
than  a  superior  mind. 

For  such  an  assembly  of  wise  men  of  Gotham,  it  is 
always  a  comforting  feeling  to  know  that  they  are  headed 
by  a  leader  whose  wisdom  corresponds  to  the  mentality 
of  the  assembly;  for,  is  it  not  pleasant  to  let  one's  intellect 
flash  forth  from  time  to  time,  and  finally,  if  Smith  can  be 
master,  why  not  Jones  also? 

This  invention  of  democracy  most  closely  conforms  to 
a  quality  which  lately  has  developed  into  a  crying  shame, 
that  is,  the  cowardice  of  a  great  part  of  our  so-called 
'leaders.'  How  fortunate  to  be  able  to  hide,  whenever 
decisions  of  importance  are  involved,  behind  the  coat-tails 
of  a  so-called  majority! 

One  has  only  to  watch  such  a  political  footpad  to  see 
how  he  anxiously  begs  for  the  consent  of  the  majority  for 
every  action  so  that  he  may  secure  the  necessary  accom- 
plices, so  as  to  be  able  to  cast  off  responsibility  at  any 
time.  But  this  is  one  of  the  chief  reasons  why  such  political 
activity  is  loathsome  and  hateful  to  a  really  decent,  and 
therefore  courageous,  man,  while  it  is  attractive  to  all 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    105 

wretched  characters  —  and  he  who  is  not  willing  personally 
to  assume  the  responsibility  for  his  acts,  but  looks  for 
cover,  is  a  cowardly  wretch.  As  soon  as  the  leaders  of  a 
nation  consist  of  such  wretched  fellows,  vengeance  will 
follow  soon  after.  One  will  no  longer  be  able  to  manifest 
the  courage  for  decisive  action;  one  would  undergo  any 
humiliating  dishonor  rather  than  make  up  one's  mind ;  be- 
cause there  is  nobody  who  is  ready  to  risk  his  person  and 
his  head  for  the  carrying-out  of  a  ruthless  decision. 

One  thing  we  must  and  may  never  forget:  here,  too,  a 
majority  can  never  replace  the  Man.  It  is  not  only  always 
a  representative  of  stupidity,  but  also  of  cowardice.  Just 
as  a  hundred  fools  do  not  make  one  wise  man,  an  heroic 
decision  is  not  likely  to  come  from  a  hundred  cowards. 

The  easier  the  responsibility  of  the  individual  leader  is, 
the  more  will  the  number  of  those  grow  who,  even  with  the 
most  wretched  dimensions,  will  feel  called  upon  to  put 
their  immortal  energies  at  the  disposal  of  the  nation.  Yes, 
they  can  hardly  await  their  turn;  lined  up  in  a  long  queue, 
they  count  the  number  of  those  waiting  ahead  of  them 
with  sorrowful  regret,  and  they  figure  out  the  hour  when  in 
all  human  probability  their  turn  will  come.  Therefore,  they 
long  for  every  change  in  the  office  they  aspire  to,  and  are 
grateful  for  every  scandal  that  thins  out  the  ranks  ahead 
of  them.  But  if  one  of  them  refuses  to  vacate  the  place 
he  has  taken,  they  almost  consider  it  a  breach  of  the  sacred 
agreement  of  mutual  solidarity.  Then  they  become  vin- 
dictive, and  do  not  rest  till  the  impudent  fellow,  finally 
overthrown,  puts  his  warm  place  at  the  disposition  of  the 
community.  He  will  not  regain  his  place  quite  so  soon. 
For  as  soon  as  one  of  these  creatures  has  been  forced  to  give 
up  his  post,  he  will  again  try  to  push  himself  into  the  rows 
of  the  'waiting,'  provided  he  is  not  prevented  from  doing 
so  by  the  outcry  and  the  abuse  of  the  others. 

The  result  of  all  this  is  the  terrifyingly  rapid  change  in 


106  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  most  important  positions  and  offices  in  such  a  State 
entity,  a  result  which  is  unfavorable  in  any  case,  but  which 
sometimes  is  even  catastrophic.  But  now  not  only  the 
stupid  and  inefficient  will  be  victims  to  this  custom,  but 
even  more  so  the  true  leader,  provided  Fate  is  able  at  al! 
to  place  him  in  that  position.  Once  this  has  been  realized, 
a  united  front  of  defense  will  be  formed,  especially  if  such 
a  head,  not  originating  from  the  ranks,  nevertheless  tries 
to  force  his  way  into  this  sublime  society.  They  want  to 
be  by  themselves  on  general  principles,  and  hate  a  head, 
which  could  turn  out  to  be  number  one  among  all  these 
naughts,  as  a  common  enemy.  In  this  direction  the  instinct 
is  the  sharper,  no  matter  how  much  it  may  lack  in  other 
respects. 

Thus  the  consequence  will  be  an  ever-increasing  intel- 
lectual impoverishment  of  the  leading  classes.  Anyone  can 
judge  what  the  results  will  be  for  the  nation  and  the  State 
if  he  does  not  personally  belong  to  this  kind  of  'leaders.' 
fOld  Austria  already  had  parliamentary  government  in 
its  purest  breeding. 

Of  course,  it  was  the  emperor  and  king  who  appointed 
the  prime  minister,  but  this  appointing  was  nothing  but 
the  carrying-out  of  the  parliamentary  will.  The  bargaining 
and  trading  for  the  individual  ministers'  offices,  however, 
was  Western  Democracy  of  the  purest  water.  The  results, 
of  course,  were  in  keeping  with  the  principles  applied.  The 
change  of  personalities  especially  took  place  in  even  shorter 
periods  of  time,  till  finally  it  would  become  a  regular  chase. 
Also,  the  intellectual  dimensions  of  the  occasional  'states- 
men' shrank  more  and  more,  till  finally  there  remained 
only  that  small  type  of  parliamentary  profiteers  whose 
value  as  statesmen  was  measured  and  acknowledged  ac- 
cording to  the  ability  with  which  they  succeeded  in  pasting 
together  the  coalition  of  the  moment ;  that  means  carrying 
out  the  smallest  political  trading  transactions  which  alone 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    107 

are  able  to  justify  the  suitability  of  these  representatives 
for  practical  action. 

Thus  the  Viennese  school  rendered  the  best  insight  in 
these  fields. 

I  was  attracted  no  less  by  the  comparison  between  the 
abilities  and  knowledge  of  these  people's  representatives 
and  the  tasks  awaiting  them.  Whether  one  wanted  to  or 
not,  one  had  to  inspect  more  closely  the  intellectual  horizon 
of  these  elected  ones  of  the  nations,  whereby  one  could 
not  avoid  also  paying  the  attention  necessary  to  those 
events  which  led  to  the  discovery  of  these  magnificent 
specimens  of  our  public  life. 

Also  the  way  and  the  manner  in  which  the  real  abilities 
of  these  gentlemen  were  applied  and  put  in  the  service 
of  the  fatherland,  which  is  the  technical  side  of  their  ac- 
tivities, was  worthy  of  being  examined  and  closely  scruti- 
nized. 

The  entire  picture  of  parliamentary  life  became  the  more 
miserable  the  more  one  decided  to  penetrate  into  these 
internal  situations  and  to  study  basic  facts  with  ruthless 
and  sharp  objectivity.  Indeed,  one  may  apply  this  method 
towards  an  institution  which  leads  one  to  point,  by  its 
supports,  to  this  very  'objectivity1  as  the  only  justified 
basis  for  examination  and  defining  of  attitude.  Therefore, 
one  had  better  examine  these  gentlemen  and  the  laws  of 
their  bitter  existence,  and  the  result  will  be  surprising. 

There  is  no  principle  looked  at  objectively  that  is  as 
wrong  as  the  parliamentary  principle. 

Here  we  must  also  disregard  entirely  the  manner  in 
which  the  people's  representatives  are  elected,  and  how 
as  a  whole,  they  attain  their  offices  and  their  new  ranks. 
That  only  the  smallest  fraction  of  the  common  will  or  need 
is  fulfilled  here  must  be  apparent  to  anyone  who  realizes 
that  the  political  understanding  of  the  great  masses  is  not 
sufficiently  developed  for  them  to  arrive  at  certain  general 


108  MEIN  KAMPF 

political  opinions  by  themselves  and  to  select  suitable 
persons.  <• 

What  we  mean  by  the  word  'public  opinion1  depends 
only  to  the  smallest  extent  on  the  individual's  own  ex- 
periences or  knowledge,  and  largely  on  an  image,  frequently 
created  by  a  penetrating  and  persistent  sort  of  so-called 
1  enlightenment.' 

Just  as  confessional  orientation  is  the  result  of  education, 
and  religious  need,  as  such,  slumbers  in  the  mind  of  man, 
so  the  political  opinion  of  the  masses  represents  only  the 
final  result  of  a  sometimes  unbelievably  tough  and  thor- 
ough belaboring  of  soul  and  mind. 

By  far  the  greatest  bulk  of  the  political  'education,' 
which  in  this  case  one  may  rightly  define  with  the  word 
1  propaganda,'  is  the  work  of  the  press.  It  is  the  press  above 
all  else  that  carries  out  this  'work  of  enlightenment,'  thus 
forming  a  sort  of  school  for  adults.  This  instruction,  how- 
ever, does  not  rest  in  the  hand  of  the  State,  but  partly  in 
the  claws  of  very  inferior  forces.  As  a  very  young  man  in 
Vienna,  I  had  the  very  best  opportunity  of  becoming 
really  acquainted  with  the  owners  and  spiritual  producers 
of  this  machine  for  educating  the  masses.  At  the  beginning 
I  was  astonished  how  short  a  time  it  took  this  most  evil  of 
all  the  great  powers  in  the  State  to  create  a  certain  opinion, 
even  if  this  involved  complete  falsification  of  the  wishes 
or  opinions  in  the  minds  of  the  public.  In  the  course  of  a 
few  days  a  ridiculous  trifle  was  turned  into  an  affair  of 
State,  whereas,  at  the  same  time,  problems  of  vital  im- 
portance were  dropped  into  general  oblivion,  or  ratherf 
were  stolen  from  the  minds  and  the  memory  of  the  masses. 

So  they  succeeded,  in  the  course  of  a  few  weeks,  in  con- 
juring up  some  names  out  of  nothing  and  attaching  incred- 
ible hopes  to  them  on  the  part  of  the  great  public,  in  even 
giving  them  a  popularity  which  the  really  important  man 
may  never  attain  during  his  whole  lifetime;  names  which. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    109 

in  addition,  nobody  had  even  heard  of  only  a  month  before, 
whereas  at  the  same  time  old  and  trustworthy  representa- 
tives of  public  or  political  life,  though  in  the  bloom  of 
health,  simply  died  in  the  minds  of  their  contemporaries,  or 
they  were  showered  with  such  wretched  abuses  that  soon 
their  names  were  in  danger  of  becoming  the  symbol  of 
villainy  and  rascality.  It  is  necessary  to  study  this  infa- 
mous Jewish  method  with  which  they  simultaneously  and 
from  all  directions,  as  at  a  given  magic  word,  pour  bucket- 
fuls  of  the  basest  calumnies  and  defamation  over  the  clean 
garb  of  honest  people,  in  order  to  appreciate  the  entire 
danger  of  these  rascals  of  the  press. 

Then,  too,  there  is  hardly  anything  which  does  not  suit 
the  purposes  of  such  an  intellectual  robber  baron  in  order 
to  reach  his  end. 

Then  he  spys  into  the  most  secret  family  affairs  and 
does  not  rest  till  his  truffle-searching  instinct  finds  some 
trifling  event  destined  to  bring  about  the  unfortunate 
victim's  fall.  But  even  if  the  most  thorough  nosing  about 
does  not  stir  up  anything  at  all  in  his  victim's  public  or 
private  life,  then  such  a  fellow  will  turn  to  calumny  with 
the  firm  conviction  that  not  only  something  of  it  will  stick 
to  his  victim,  despite  thousandfold  refutation,  but  that, 
in  consequence  of  the  hundredfold  repetition  of  the  calum- 
nies by  all  his  accomplices,  the  victim  is  in  most  cases 


\  The  propagandistic  usefulness  of  snooping  around  in  the 
private  lives  of  opponents  was  recognized  early  by  anti- 
clericals  in  Austria,  and  the  lesson  has  not  been  lost  on  the 
Nazis.  The  Volkischer  Beobachter  (Hitler's  official  daily)  and 
its  immediate  predecessors,  Dietrich  Eckart's  Auf  gut  Deutsch, 
reveled  in  stories  purporting  to  be  based  on  the  private  lives 
of  wealthier  Jews.  The  terrain  was  later  extended  to  take  in 
the  secret  orgies  of  the  Republic's  officials,  the  Nacktbatt  (dance 
in  the  nude)  being  a  specialty.  Gradually  Julius  Streicher's 


110  MEIN  KAMPF 

unable  to  fight  it;  the  motives  of  these  scoundrels  are  never 
those  which  would  be  comprehensible  or  credible  to  others. 
God  forbid!  Such  a  rascal,  by  attacking  the  rest  of  his 
dear  contemporary  world  in  such  an  infamous  fashion, 
wraps  himself,  like  a  cuttlefish,  in  a  cloud  of  decency  and 
unctuous  phrases;  he  talks  of  'journalistic'  duty  and  simi- 
lar mendacious  stuff;  he  even  goes  so  far  that  during  ses- 
sions and  congresses  —  occasions  when  one  sees  this  plague 
assembled  in  greater  numbers  —  he  twaddles  of  a  special, 
that  is,  journalistic,  "honor/  of  which  the  assembled  rascals 
bumptiously  assure  one  another. 

This  rabble,  however,  manufactures  more  than  two- 
thirds  of  the  so-called  'public'  opinion,  and  out  of  its  foam 
rises  the  parliamentary  Aphrodite. 

One  would  have  to  write  volumes  to  describe  this  pro- 
cedure correctly  in  its  entire  mendacity  and  untruthful- 
ness.  However,  if  one  leaves  this  out  of  account,  and 

Sturmer  outdistanced  all  rivals,  becoming  the  world's  champion 
illustration  in  pornographic  defamation.  More  important,  no 
doubt,  was  the  use  to  which  records  taken  from  Catholic  dio- 
cesan and  monastic  archives  were  put  after  1934.  Hundreds 
of  trials  for  'immorality'  brought  priests,  religious,  and  lay- 
folk  to  court.  Many  were  declared  guilty;  and  even  the  inno- 
cent found  themselves  under  a  permanent  cloud  by  reason  of 
the  difficulty  with  which  such  charges  can  be  refuted.  One 
amusing  instance  of  how  such  stories  were  spread  concerns 
Walther  Rathenau,  Foreign  Minister  in  the  Wirth  Cabinet. 
He  gave  a  dinner  one  evening  for  eighteen  diplomats;  and  the 
next  morning  a  very  correct  and  honorable  official  came  to  call 
on  the  Chancellor.  'I  regret  having  to  warn  Your  Excellency 
against  Heir  Rathenau/  he  said.  'But  it  is  shocking  —  last 
night  he  dined  with  eighteen  naked  ladies.'  4I  know  all  about 
it,'  Dr.  Wirth  replied,  'I  was  there  myself.  But  come  into  the 
next  room  and  meet  some  of  the  ladies.'  The  surprised  official 
was  then  introduced  to  half  a  dozen  diplomats. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    111 

looking  only  at  the  resulting  product  together  with  its 
activity,  it  should  suffice  that  the  objective  lunacy  of  this 
institution  would  dawn  on  even  the  most  orthodox 
mind. 

It  will  be  easiest  to  understand  this  absurd  and  danger- 
ous human  error  if  one  compares  the  democratic  parliamen- 
tarianism  with  true  Germanic  democracy. 

The  characteristic  of  the  first  is  that  a  number  of  say 
five  hundred,  men  and  recently  also  women,  are  elected, 
who  are  entrusted  with  the  final  decision  on  everything. 
They  alone  practically  represent  the  government,  for 
though  they  elect  the  cabinet  which  to  all  outward  appear- 
ances seems  to  take  on  the  guidance  of  the  State's  affairs, 
this  is  nevertheless  mere  pretense.  In  reality,  this  so-called 
government  cannot  take  one  step  without  having  first 

These  passages  reflect  dissatisfaction  with  parliamentary  in- 
stitutions as  the  foes  of  the  Republic  saw  them  after  1918. 
The  German  Reichstag  was  during  these  years  probably  the 
intellectual  and  moral  equal  of  any  parliament  in  the  world. 
Yet,  apart  from  the  difficulties  with  which  it  was  steadily  con- 
fronted and  which  naturally  added  little  to  its  popularity,  it 
was  handicapped  by  the  fact  that,  when  compared  with  the 
gentry  and  nobility  who  had  ruled  before  the  War,  its  spokes- 
men and  ministers  were  'little  people.'  Even  Ernst  Trdltsch, 
a  great  scholar  and  in  his  way  a  democrat,  could  not  avoid  that 
feeling.  Newspapers  loyal  to  the  Republic  could  jest  that  there 
was  hardly  a  man  in  the  government  who  knew  how  to  enter- 
tain at  dinner.  Nothing  worse  could  be  said  about  Matthias 
Erzberger,  who  signed  the  armistice  and  then  became  Minister 
of  Finance,  than  that  he  had  been  'only  a  school-teacher'; 
and  few  were  honestly  proud  that  Friedrich  Ebert  had  once 
worked  as  a  saddler.  The  result  was  that  many  honest  parlia- 
mentarians—  especially  among  the  Social  Democrats  —  suf- 
fered from  what  is  often  termed  an  inferiority  complex.  After 
the  depression  of  1929  set  in,  these  feelings  were  intensified  and 


112  MEIN  KAMPF 

obtained  the  consent  of  the  general  assembly.  Therefore, 
it  cannot  be  held  responsible  for  anything  at  all,  as  it  is 
not  the  government  which  has  the  ultimate  decision,  but 
the  majority  of  parliament.  In  all  cases,  therefore,  the 
government  is  only  the  executive  of  the  will  of  the  major- 
ity. We  could  judge  its  political  ability  only  by  the  skill  it 
shows  either  in  adapting  itself  to  the  will  of  the  majority, 
or  in  winning  it  over.  But  then  it  sinks  from  the  height  of 
a  real  government  to  that  of  a  beggar  appealing  to  the 
majority.  Its  most  important  task  now  consists  of  securing 
either  the  favor  of  the  majority,  from  case  to  case,  or  of 
taking  upon  itself  the  formation  of  a  more  gracious  new 
majority.  If  it  succeeds  in  this,  then  it  may  continue  to 
'rule*  for  a  short  time  longer,  but  if  it  does  not,  it  must  go. 
Whether  its  intentions  are  right  or  not  is  of  no  consequence. 

mixed  with  hatred.  The  petty  sums  received  by  the  'little  men ' 
as  delegates  to  the  Reichstag  were  magnified  into  fabulous 
salaries;  and  many  were  afraid  to  go  to  the  theater  lest  they  be 
accused  of  undue  prodigality.  But  after  the  Nazis  came  to 
power,  all  was  different.  During  1937,  Dr.  Goebbels  authorized 
a  film  showing  his  beautiful  new  villa  and  its  lawns.  The  re- 
ception was  so  bad  that  the  picture  had  to  be  withdrawn. 
Thereupon  Der  Angriff,  Goebbels's  newspaper,  denounced  all 
those  who  *  muttered  around '  that  the  Nazis  were  now  strutting 
about  in  the  top  hats  they  had  found  so  reprehensible  on  the 
heads  of  their  predecessors.  'These  critics  forget/  the  com- 
mentator wrote,  '  that  those  we  once  stigmatized  were  skunks . . . 
while  those  who  now  represent  the  State  are  men  who  have 
achieved  a  great  deal  in  four  years.  An  American  delegation 
cannot  be  asked  to  dine  on  sausage  and  sauerkraut  by  people 
going  around  in  their  shirtsleeves.  They  must  be  entertained 
as  they  are  accustomed  to  being  entertained,  for  we  expect 
them  to  put  in  a  good  word  for  us  when  they  return  home. 
That  is  why  we  wear  top  hats  and  cutaways.  That  is  also  why 
we  build  villas/ 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    113 

fBut  with  this  all  responsibility  is  practically  excluded. 

To  what  consequences  this  now  leads  follows  from  a 
quite  simple  consideration  : 

The  internal  composition  of  a  group  of  these  five  hundred 
representatives,  measured  according  to  profession  or  abil- 
ities of  the  individual,  gives  a  picture  that  is  as  confused 
as  it  is  pitiful.  For  one  cannot  expect  that  these  elected 
ones  of  the  nation  are  also  the  elect  of  intellect  or  even  of 
common  sense!  And  I  hope  that  one  does  not  think  that 
from  the  ballots  cast  by  a  body  of  voters  which  is  anything 
but  clever,  the  statesmen  will  come  forth  by  hundreds! 
On  the  whole,  one  cannot  contradict  too  sharply  the 
absurd  opinion  that  men  of  genius  are  born  out  of  general 
elections.  First,  there  is  only  one  real '  statesman '  once  in 
a  blue  moon  in  one  nation  and  not  a  hundred  or  more  at  a 
time;  and  second,  the  masses'  aversion  to  every  superior 
genius  is  an  instinctive  one.  It  is  easier  for  a  camel  to  go 
through  the  eye  of  a  needle  than  that  a  great  man  is  'dis- 
covered '  in  an  election. 

What  really  stands  out  of  the  norm  of  the  great  masses 
generally  personally  announces  its  arrival  in  world  history. 

So  that  it  is  five  hundred  men  of  more  than  modest  com- 
petence who  vote  on  the  most  important  concerns  of  the 
nation;  they  appoint  governments  which,  in  turn,  in  each 
single  case  and  in  each  special  question,  have  to  obtain  the 
consent  of  the  illustrious  assembly,  and  thus  politics  are 
actually  made  by  five  hundred  men. 

And  it  usually  looks  like  it,  too. 

Even  when  not  speaking  of  the  genius  of  these  people's 
representatives,  one  should  consider  the  different  kind  of 
problems  awaiting  solution  and  how  widely  spread  the 
fields  are  in  which  solutions  and  decisions  are  to  be  made, 
and  one  will  well  understand  how  unfit  this  form  of  govern- 
ment must  be  for  this  task  which  puts  the  right  of  final 
decisions  into  the  hands  of  a  mass  assembly  of  people,  of 


114  MEIN  KAMPF 

whom  only  a  small  portion  has  the  knowledge  and  experi- 
ence required  by  the  affairs  under  consideration.  Thus  the 
most  important  economic  measures  are  brought  before  a 
forum,  while  only  one-tenth  of  its  members  can  evidence 
any  economic  training.  This  means  nothing  short  of  plac- 
ing the  final  decision  of  affairs  into  the  hands  of  men  who 
entirely  lack  all  qualification  for  this  task. 

This  is  also  the  case  with  all  other  questions.  They 
will  always  be  decided  by  a  majority  of  ignoramuses  and 
incompetents,  since  the  composition  of  this  institution  re- 
mains unchanged,  while  the  problems  to  be  dealt  with 
extend  to  nearly  all  fields  of  public  life,  and  therefore  would 
require  a  continuous  change  of  the  deputies  who  have  to 
judge  and  to  decide  them.  It  is  indeed  impossible  to  permit 
affairs  of  transportation  to  be  passed  upon  by  the  same 
people  who  deal  with  a  question,  let  us  say,  of  high  foreign 
politics.  Indeed,  they  would  all  have  to  be  universal  gen- 
iuses, such  hardly  as  come  forth  once  in  centuries.  Un- 
fortunately, in  most  cases  they  are  not  at  all  '  heads, '  but 
narrow-minded,  vainglorious,  and  arrogant  amateurs,  an 
intellectual  demi-monde  of  the  worst  kind.  From  this  there 
often  results  the  inconceivable  carelessness  with  which 
these  gentlemen  discuss  and  decide  on  affairs  which  would 
give  even  the  greatest  minds  cause  for  careful  reflection. 
Measures  of  the  gravest  importance  for  the  future  of  an 
entire  State,  even  of  a  nation,  are  taken,  as  though  a  hand 
of  Schqffkopf  [a  game  of  cards  especially  popular  in  Southern 
Germany]  or  taroc,  which  would  certainly  suit  them  better, 
were  before  them  on  the  table  and  not  the  fate  of  a  race. 

But  it  would  certainly  be  unjust  to  believe  that  each 
of  the  deputies  of  such  a  parliament  was  always  endowed 
with  so  slight  a  feeling  of  responsibility. 

No,  not  at  all. 

But  because  this  system  forces  the  individual  to  define 
his  attitude  towards  questions  for  which  he  may  not  be 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    115 

suited,  it  gradually  spoils  the  character.  None  of  them 
would  have  enough  courage  to  declare:  'Gentlemen,  I 
think  we  don't  understand  anything  about  this  question. 
At  least  I  can  say  that  with  certainty  as  far  as  I  am  con- 
cerned.1 (Besides,  this  would  hardly  make  any  difference, 
for  such  honesty  would  certainly  not  be  understood,  and 
they  would  hardly  permit  the  game  to  be  spoiled  by  such 
an  honest  ass.)  Those  who  know  human  beings  will  under- 
stand that  in  such  an  illustrious  society  nobody  likes  to  be 
the  most  stupid,  and  in  certain  circles,  honesty  is  synony- 
mous with  stupidity. 

Thus  a  representative,  at  first  still  honest,  is  forced  into 
the  path  of  general  mendacity  and  deceit.  The  very  con- 
viction that  the  individual's  non-participation  would  not 
alter  the  matter  in  the  least  stifles  any  honest  impulse 
which  perhaps  may  rise  in  one  or  the  other  deputy.  Finally, 
he  will  persuade  himself  that  he  is  not  the  worst  by  far 
among  the  others  and  that  his  participation  might  perhaps 
even  prevent  greater  evil. 

Of  course,  one  will  now  raise  the  objection  that  the  indi- 
vidual deputy  has  actually  but  little  understanding  for 
the  one  or  the  other  matter;  that  in  coming  to  a  decision 
he  is  advised  by  the  parliamentary  faction  as  the  leader  of 
the  policies  of  the  gentlemen  in  question ;  that  this  faction 
always  has  its  special  committees  which  are  more  than 
amply  advised  by  experts. 

At  first  sight  this  seems  to  be  correct.  Then  the  question 
would  still  be:  Why  does  one  elect  five  hundred  if  only  a 
few  of  them  have  sufficient  wisdom  to  define  their  attitudes 
towards  the  most  important  matters? 

This,  then,  was  the  gist  of  the  matter!  [Ja,  darinliegt 
eben  des  Pudels  Kern.  A  paraphrase  of  a  line  in  Goethe's 
Faust.}  «* 

It  is  not  the  object  of  our  present-day  democratic  parlia- 
mentarianism  to  form  an  assembly  of  wise  men,  but  rather 


116  MEIN  KAMPF 

to  gather  a  crowd  of  mentally  dependent  ciphers  which 
may  be  more  easily  led  in  certain  directions,  the  more  lim- 
ited the  intelligence  of  the  individual.  Only  thus  can 
parties  make  politics  in  the  worse  sense  of  the  word  today. 
Only  thus  is  it  also  possible  that  the  actual  wirepuller  is 
able  to  remain  cautiously  in  the  background  without  ever 
being  personally  called  to  account.  Because  no  decision, 
no  matter  how  detrimental  it  is  to  the  nation,  can  now  be 
charged  to  the  account  of  a  rascal  who  is  in  the  public  eye, 
but  it  is  dumped  on  the  shoulders  of  an  entire  faction. 

With  this,  however,  all  responsibility  is  practically  re- 
moved, because  it  can  only  be  the  duty  of  an  individual 
and  never  that  of  a  parliamentary  assembly  of  babblers. 

This  institution  can  be  pleasing  and  valuable  only  to 
the  most  mendacious  sneaks  who  carefully  shun  the  light 
of  day,  whereas  it  must  be  loathsome  to  every  honest  and 
straightforward  fellow  who  is  ready  to  assume  personal 
responsibility. 

Therefore,  this  kind  of  democracy  has  become  the  instru- 
ment of  that  race  which  shuns  the  sunlight  because  of 
its  internal  aims,  now  and  for  all  time.  Only  the  Jew  can 
praise  an  institution  that  is  as  dirty  and  false  as  he  is 
himself. 

* 

This  system  is  opposed  by  the  true  Germanic  democracy 
of  the  free  choice  of  a  leader  with  the  latter's  obligation  to 
take  over  fully  all  responsibility  for  what  he  does  or  does 

The  legend  of  the  'freely  chosen  German  leader*  was  proba- 
bly born  in  the  fertile  brain  of  Houston  Stewart  Chamberlain, 
a  Britisher  who  became  an  uncompromising  Pan-German  dur- 
ing the  years  preceding  1914  and  who  buttressed  this  contention 
with  a  theory  of  race  superiority  derived  in  part  from  Count 
Arthur  de  Gobineau,  author  of  books  which  attributed  the 
success  of  the  'supermen'  of  the  Renaissance  to  their  'Aryan' 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    117 

not  do.  There  will  be  no  voting  by  a  majority  on  single 
questions,  but  only  the  decision  of  the  individual  who  backs 
it  with  his  life  and  all  he  has. 

If  the  objection  were  raised  that  under  such  circum- 
stances no  one  could  be  found  ready  to  devote  himself  to 
such  a  hazardous  task,  there  can  be  one  reply: 

God  be  thanked,  this  is  just  the  meaning  of  Germanic 
democracy,  that  no  unworthy  climber  or  moral  shirker  can 
come  in  the  back  way  to  rule  his  fellow  citizens,  but  that 
the  greatness  of  the  position  to  be  assumed  will  discourage 
incompetents  and  weaklings. 

But  should,  nevertheless,  such  a  fellow  try  to  sneak  in, 
then  he  will  be  easily  found  out  and  ruthlessly  rebuffed: 
Out  with  you,  cowardly  wretch !  Step  back,  you  are  soiling 

blood.  It  has  since  become  a  favorite  topic  of  conversation. 
Not  a  few  Nazi  authors  have  attempted  to  unearth  instances 
of  such  leadership.  Favorite  candidates  from  early  Germanic 
history  are  Arminius,  Widukind  the  Saxon  King,  and  Genseric 
the  Vandal  chieftain.  In  Nazi  usage  the  word  Fuhrer  (leader) 
has  a  very  special  connotation,  difficult  for  an  outsider  to 
understand.  The  Fdhrcr  is  a  man  who  gives  expression  to  the 
divinity  that  is  enshrined  in  his  people  —  a  '  Traumlaller*  (one 
who  speaks  oracularly  in  his  dreams),  in  George  Schott's 
phrase.  Gottfried  Feder,  author  of  the  Party  program,  once 
described  the  Fiihrer  as  follows :  '  He  must  have  a  somnambu- 
listic feeling  of  certainty. ...  In  the  pursuit  of  his  goal,  he  must 
not  shrink  from  bloodshed  or  war  even/  For  many,  perhaps 
for  himself,  Hitler  is  the  German  Messiah,  whose  kingdom  is 
to  last  thousands  of  years,  even  as  has  that  of  Christ.  Hitler, 
too,  began  with  a  small  number  of  disciples  —  the  first  group 
was  of  the  mystic  number  seven  —  one  or  the  other  of  whom 
proved  unfaithful.  Addressing  Nazi  congresses,  he  has  fre- 
quently stressed  his  ability  to  wait  until  'what  is  in  the  folk- 
sour  dictates  the  course  he  is  to  pursue.  That  is  why  he  con- 
tinuously needs  assurance  that  the  folk  is  actually  one  in  spirit 


118  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  steps;  the  front  stairs  leading  to  the  Pantheon  of 
History  is  not  for  sneaks  but  for  heroes! 

1  had  come  to  this  opinion  after  an  internal  struggle  dur- 
ing the  two  years  in  which  I  visited  the  Viennese  parlia- 
ment. 

Thereafter  I  never  went  again. 


The  parliamentary  r6gime  had  a  great  share  in  the 
progressive  weakening  of  the  old  Habsburg  State  during 
the  past  few  years.  The  more  the  superiority  of  the  German 
nationality  was  broken  up  through  its  efforts,  the  more 
recourse  was  taken  to  a  system  of  playing  off  the  various 
nationalities  against  one  another.  In  the  Reichsrat  this 
always  was  done  at  the  expense  of  the  Germans  and  so, 
in  the  last  instance,  at  the  expense  of  the  realm;  for  at  the 
turn  of  the  century  even  the  most  simple-minded  had  to 
realize  that  the  monarchy's  power  of  attraction  was  no 


with  him.  The  various  plebiscites  serve  much  the  same  pur- 
pose as  would  a  mesmerist's  look  round  to  see  whether  the 
members  of  a  group  are  joining  hands.  Hitler  believes  that 
ninety-nine  per  cent  of  the  German  people  support  him,  and 
refuses  to  weigh  evidence  to  the  contrary.  Accordingly  any 
German  who  resists  him  is  a  pariah,  a  blasphemer  against  the 
decree  of  the  German  providence.  Dr.  Schuschnigg,  who  under- 
stood these  things  not  at  all  —  who  fully  believed  that  if  the 
Nazis  gained  Austria  he  could  resume  his  law  practice  —  has 
been  kept  in  confinement  since  March,  1938,  for  having  sinned 
against  the  light.  Hitler's  anti-Semitism  must  likewise  be 
weighed  on  this  scale.  It  was  out  of  gratitude  to  the  German 
God  for  the  successes  of  1938  that  he  decreed  the  pogrom  of 
November  9.  He  said  earlier: '  I  believe  today  that  I  am  acting 
in  the  sense  of  the  Almighty  Creator:  By  warding  off  the  Jew* 
I  om  fighting  for  the  Lord's  work' 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    119 

longer  able  to  counteract  the  individual  countries'  en- 
deavors towards  separation. 

On  the  contrary. 

The  poorer  the  means  became  which  the  State  had  at  its 
disposal  for  its  preservation,  the  higher  rose  the  general 
contempt  for  it.  Not  in  Hungary  alone,  but  also  in  the 
individual  Slav  provinces,  the  people  felt  themselves  so 
little  identified  with  the  common  monarchy  that  its  weak- 
ness was  not  looked  upon  as  their  own  disgrace.  They 
rather  rejoiced  over  the  signs  of  approaching  old  age; 
because  they  hoped  more  for  its  death  than  for  its  con- 
valescence. 

In  parliament,  the  complete  collapse  was  further  pre- 
vented by  an  undignified  submission  and  fulfillment  of  all 
and  every  extortion,  for  which  the  Germans  then  had  to 
pay;  in  the  realm  this  was  done  by  a  clever  playing-off  of 
the  individual  nations  against  one  another.  But  the  gen- 
eral line  of  development  was  directed  against  the  Germans. 
Especially  since  his  succession  to  the  throne  began  to  give 
some  influence  to  the  Archduke  Franz  Ferdinand,  order 
and  organization  were  brought  into  the  Czechization  car- 
ried out  from  above.  With  all  possible  means  this  future 
ruler  of  the  dual  monarchy  tried  to  facilitate  and  to  pro- 
mote personally,  or  at  least  to  shield,  the  de-Germanization 
of  the  realm.  Thus  purely  German  places  were  slowly  but 
steadily  pushed  into  the  danger  zone  of  mixed  languages 
by  roundabout  official  means.  Even  in  Lower  Austria  this 
process  began  to  progress  rapidly,  and  many  Czechs  already 
considered  Vienna  as  their  biggest  city. 

The  leading  idea  of  this  Habsburg,  whose  family  spoke 
only  Czech  (his  wife,  a  former  Czech  countess,  had  married 
the  prince  morganatically;  she  came  from  circles  in  which 
the  anti-German  attitude  was  traditional)  was  gradually 
to  form  a  Slav  State  in  Central  Europe  to  be  founded  on  a 
strictly  Catholic  basis,  as  a  protection  against  Orthodox 


120  MEIN  KAMPF 

Russia.  In  this  manner,  as  the  Habsburgs  had  done  previ- 
ously on  several  occasions,  religion  once  more  was  placed 
in  the  service  of  a  purely  political  idea,  above  all  —  at  least 
from  the  German  point  of  view  —  of  an  unfortunate  idea. 

The  result  was  more  than  deplorable  in  many  respects. 

Neither  the  House  of  Habsburg  nor  the  Catholic  Church 
received  the  expected  reward. 

Habsburg  lost  the  throne,  Rome  a  great  State. 

By  using  religious  forces  for  political  purposes,  the  crown 
awakened  a  spirit  which  it  had  not  at  first  thought  possible. 

The  attempt  to  extinguish  Germanism  in  the  old  mon- 
archy by  all  possible  means  was  answered  by  the  Pan- 
German  movement  in  Austria. 

fin  the  eighties,  Manchester  Liberalism,  with  a  basic 
Jewish  tendency,  had  reached  or  already  passed  its  climax 
in  the  monarchy.  Reaction  against  it  came,  as  was  the 
case  with  everything  in  old  Austria,  not  primarily  from 
social,  but  from  national,  points  of  view.  Its  instinct  of 
self-preservation  forced  Germanism  to  offer  the  sharpest 
possible  resistance.  Only  in  the  second  instance  economic 
considerations  began  to  gain  a  decisive  influence.  Thus  out 
of  the  general  political  muddle  emerged  two  party  forma- 
tions, the  one  with  a  more  national,  the  other  with  a  more 
social,  tendency,  but  both  extremely  interesting  and  in- 
structive for  the  future. 

After  the  depressing  end  of  the  war  of  1866,  the  House 
of  Habsburg  harbored  the  idea  of  a  revenge  on  the  battle- 
field. Only  the  death  of  Emperor  Max  [sic]  of  Mexico, 
whose  unfortunate  expedition  was  attributed  primarily  to 
Napoleon  III,  and  whose  abandonment  by  the  French 
roused  general  indignation,  prevented  a  closer  co-operation 
with  France.  Yet  Habsburg  was  on  the  watch.  Had  the 
war  of  1870-71  not  become  such  a  uniquely  victorious  cam- 
paign, the  Court  of  Vienna  would  probably  have  risked  the 
bloody  game  of  a  revenge  for  Sadowa.  But  when  the  first 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    121 

amazing  and  incredible  heroic  tales  arrived  from  the  battle- 
fields, yet  true,  then  the  'wisest*  of  all  monarchs  recognized 
that  the  hour  was  inconvenient,  and  ho  had  to  grin  and 
bear  it  as  best  he  could. 

But  the  heroic  fight  of  these  two  years  had  achieved  a 
still  greater  miracle ;  for  the  Habsburgs  a  changed  attitude 
never  corresponded  to  an  impulse  of  the  heart,  but  to  the 
pressure  of  circumstances.  The  German  people  in  the  old 
Ostmark  were  carried  away  by  the  victorious  ecstasy  of  the 
Reich,  and,  deeply  moved,  saw  the  dreams  of  the  fore- 
fathers resurrected  to  glorious  reality. 

For  let  there  be  no  mistake :  the  really  German-minded 
Austrian  had  recognized  at  Koeniggraetz  the  tragic  though 
necessary  condition  for  the  resurrection  of  a  realm  which 
should  not  be,  and  which  actually  was  not,  afflicted  with 
the  foul  marasmus  of  the  old  union.  He  thoroughly  learned 
to  understand,  by  his  own  experience,  that  the  House  of 
Habsburg  had  now  finally  ended  its  historical  mission,  and 
that  the  new  realm  was  to  elect  as  emperor  only  one  who, 
through  his  heroic  character,  could  offer  a  worthy  head  to 
the  'Crown  of  the  Rhine/  How  much  more  was  Fate  to 
be  praised  because  it  carried  out  this  investiture  on  a 
member  of  a  House  which  in  the  person  of  Frederick  the 
Great  had  in  times  past  given  to  the  nation  a  brilliant 
symbol  for  the  rise  of  the  nation  forever.  <• 

When  after  the  Great  War  the  House  of  Habsburg 
started  with  utmost  determination  to  root  out,  slowly  but 
steadily,  the  dangerous  Germanism  of  the  dual  monarchy 
(about  whose  inner  conviction  there  could  be  no  doubt)  — 
for  this  would  mean  the  end  of  the  policy  of  Slavization  — 
the  resistance  of  this  doomed  people  broke  out  in  a  way 
that  the  German  history  of  modern  times  had  never  known. 

For  the  first  time  men  with  national  and  patriotic  feel- 
ings became  rebels. 

Rebels,  not  against  the  nation,  not  against  the  State  as 


122  MEIN  KAMPF 

such,  but  against  a  form  of  government  which  in  their 
opinion  was  bound  to  lead  their  own  nationality  to  its 
doom. 

For  the  first  time  in  modern  German  history,  traditional 
dynastic  patriotism  separated  from  national  love  for 
country  and  people. 

It  was  the  merit  of  the  Pan-German  movement  in  Austria, 
during  the  nineties,  that  it  clearly  demonstrated  beyond  a 
doubt  that  a  State  authority  can  only  demand  respect  and 
protection  as  long  as  it  corresponds  to  the  desires  of  a 
nationality  and  at  least  does  not  harm  it. 

There  can  be  no  State  authority  as  a  means  in  itself,  as 
in  that  case  all  tyranny  on  earth  would  be  unassailable  and 
sacred. 

If  a  people  is  led  to  destruction  by  the  instrument  of 
governmental  power,  then  the  rebellion  on  the  part  of  each 
and  every  member  of  such  a  nation  is  not  only  a  right  but  a 
duty. 

The  question,  however,  when  such  a  case  arises,  is  not 
decided  by  theoretical  treatises  but  by  force  —  and  suc- 
cess. 

As  every  governmental  power  naturally  claims  the  right 
of  preserving  the  authority  of  the  State,  no  matter  how 
inferior  it  is  or  that  it  has  betrayed  the  concerns  of  the 
nation  a  thousand  times,  the  f olkish  instinct  of  self-preserva- 
tion, when  subduing  such  a  power  in  order  to  gain  freedom 
or  independence,  will  have  to  use  the  same  weapons  with 
which  the  adversary  is  trying  to  hold  his  own.  The  struggle 
will  be  carried  on  with  *  legal '  means  as  long  as  the  power  to 
be  overthrown  uses  such  means;  but  one  will  not  hesitate 
to  use  illegal  weapons  if  the  oppressor  also  uses  them. 

But  in  general  it  should  never  be  forgotten  that  not  the 
preservation  of  a  State  or  a  government  is  the  highest  aim 
of  human  existence,  but  the  preservation  of  its  kind. 

But  once  the  latter  itself  is  in  danger  of  being  oppressed 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    123 

or  abolished,  then  the  question  of  legality  plays  only  a 
subordinate  r6le.  Then  it  may  be  that  the  ruling  power 
may  use  a  thousand  so-called  'legal'  means,  yet  the  in- 
stinct of  self-preservation  of  the  oppressed  then  is  always 
the  most  sublime  justification  for  their  fighting  with  all 
weapons. 

Only  by  acknowledging  the  above  principle  were  the 
wars  of  rebellion,  against  enslavement  from  within  and 
without,  carried  on  in  such  great  historical  examples. 

Human  rights  break  State  rights. 

But  if  a  nation  succumbs  in  its  struggle  for  the  rights  of 
mankind,  then  it  was  probably  found  weighing  too  lightly 
in  the  scales  of  destiny  to  justify  its  good  fortune  of  being 
allowed  to  continue  on  this  mortal  globe.  For  if  a  man  is 
not  ready  or  able  to  fight  for  his  existence,  righteous  Provi- 
dence has  already  decreed  his  doom. 

The  world  is  not  intended  for  cowardly  nations. 


fBut  how  easy  it  is  for  a  tyranny  to  drape  itself  with 
the  mantle  of  so-called  'legality*  is  again  shown  most 
clearly  and  definitely  by  Austria's  example. 

The  legal  State  authority  of  that  period  was  rooted  in 
the  anti-German  soil  of  parliament  with  its  non-German 
majorities  —  and  also  in  the  ruling  anti-German  dynasty. 
The  entire  State  authority  was  incorporated  in  these  two 
factors.  To  attempt  to  change  the  fate  of  the  German- 
Austrian  people  from  this  point  was  nonsense.  In  the  opin- 
ion of  our  admirers  of  the  only  possible  4  legal '  way  and  of 
the  State  authority  itself,  all  resistance  would  have  had  to 
be  relinquished  because  it  could  not  be  carried  out  by  legal 
means.  But  this  would  have  meant  the  end  of  the  German 
people  within  the  monarchy  —  in  a  very  short  time.  As  a 
matter  of  fact  the  German  nation  was  only  saved  from  such 
a  fate  by  the  collapse  of  this  State. 


124  MEIN  KAMPF 

The  bespectacled  theorist,  however,  would  rather  die  ior 
his  doctrine  than  for  his  people. 

Because  it  is  men  who  first  make  the  laws,  he  thinks  that 
they  afterwards  exist  for  these  laws. 

To  have  thoroughly  swept  out  this  nonsense,  much  to 
the  alarm  of  all  theoretical  dogmatists  and  other  govern- 
mental insular  fetishists,  was  the  merit  of  the  Pan-German 
movement  in  Austria  at  that  time. 

As  the  Habsburgs  tried  to  attack  the  German  nationality 
with  all  possible  means,  this  party  in  turn  now  attacked 
the  'exalted '  ruling  house  itself  in  the  most  ruthless  manner. 
For  the  first  time  it  probed  into  this  foul  State  and  opened 
the  eyes  of  hundreds  of  thousands.  It  is  to  the  credit 
of  the  party  that  it  freed  the  glorious  idea  of  patriotism 
from  the  embrace  of  this  deplorable  dynasty. 

At  the  time  of  its  first  appearance,  the  number  of  its  fol- 
lowers was  so  enormous  that  it  even  threatened  to  develop 
into  a  very  avalanche.  But  the  success  did  not  last.  When 
I  came  to  Vienna,  the  movement  had  long  been  overshad- 
owed, and  had  even  been  almost  reduced  to  insignificance, 
by  the  Christian  Socialist  Party  which  had  come  into 
power  in  the  meantime.  •<• 

The  entire  process  of  the  rise  and  decline  of  the  Pan- 
German  movement,  on  the  one  hand,  and  of  the  unheard-of 
rise  of  the  Christian  Socialist  Party,  on  the  other,  was  to 
gain  the  greatest  importance  for  me  as  a  classical  object  for 
study. 

When  I  came  to  Vienna,  my  sympathies  were  fully  and 
wholly  on  the  side  of  the  Pan-German  movement. 

That  one  had  the  courage  in  parliament  to  shout  'Heil 
Hohenzollern '  impressed  me  as  much  as  it  infinitely  pleased 
me;  that  one  considered  oneself  only  temporarily  separated 
from  the  Reich,  and  that  no  occasion  was  overlooked  to 
manifest  this  publicly,  awakened  joyous  confidence  in  me ; 
the  fact  that  one  openly  demonstrated  one's  opinion  in  all 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    125 

questions  concerning  German  nationality  and  that  one 
never  yielded  to  compromises  seemed  to  me  the  only  way 
still  open  for  the  salvation  of  our  people;  but  that  the 
movement,  after  its  first  glorious  rise,  had  sunk  so  deeply, 
this  I  could  not  understand.  I  could  understand  far  less 
that  at  the  same  time  the  Christian  Socialist  Party  was 
able  to  rise  to  such  enormous  power.  It  had  just  reached 
the  zenith  of  its  glory  at  that  time. 

When  I  tried  to  compare  the  two  movements,  Fate,  ac- 
celerated by  my  otherwise  miserable  situation,  here  also 
gave  me  the  best  instruction  for  the  understanding  of  the 
causes  of  this  riddle. 

I  begin  my  reflections  at  first  with  the  two  men  who 
may  be  looked  upon  as  the  leaders  and  the  founders  of  the 
two  parties :  Georg  von  Schoenerer  and  Doktor  Karl  Lueger. 

From  the  purely  human  point  of  view  they  stand  out, 
the  one  as  well  as  the  other,  far  above  the  frame  and  the 
dimensions  of  the  so-called  parliamentarian  types.  In  the 

George  von  Schoenerer  (1824-1921)  was  the  mouthpiece  of 
a  pan-Germanistic  hatred  of  the  Jews  which  found  expression 
in  violent  speeches.  The  beer  hall  was  a  favorite  Schoenerer 
assembly  room.  But  though  his  diction  was  crude,  his  followers 
were  recruited  from  the  upper  middle  classes  and  blended  hatred 
of  the  Habsburgs  and  the  Catholic  Church  with  anti-Semitism. 
Nevertheless  he  had  not  a  few  sympathizers  even  among  the 
clergy.  Funds  to  support  the  movement  were  supplied  by 
extremist  Protestant  groups  in  Germany,  and  Schoenerer  him- 
self became  a  Protestant  in  a  wave  of  secession  from  the 
Catholic  Church  that  was  the  greatest  Austria  had  known  since 
the  Reformation.  The  principal  tenet  of  his  political  doctrine 
was  that  the  Jews  had  undermined  the  national  economy  and 
therewith  created  the  social  problem,  which  in  turn  was  costing 
much  money.  Close  to  Schoenerer  was  the  Ostara  group,  the 
publication  sponsored  by  whom  is  an  important  source  of  more 
modern  anti-Semitic  propaganda. 


126  MEIN  KAMPF 

swamp  of  general  political  corruption,  their  entire  lives 
remained  pure  and  unimpeachable.  Nevertheless,  at  first 
my  personal  sympathy  was  more  with  the  Pan-German 
Schoenerer,  and  then  gradually  turned  to  the  Christian 
Socialist  leader. 

Comparing  their  abilities,  Schoenerer  seemed  to  me  even 
then  the  better  and  more  thorough  thinker  in  fundamental 
problems.  He  recognized  more  clearly  and  more  correctly 
than  anyone  else  the  inevitable  end  of  the  Austrian  State. 
Had  one  listened  more  attentively  to  his  warnings,  espe- 
cially in  the  Reich,  about  the  Habsburg  monarchy,  then 
the  misfortune  of  the  World  War  which  placed  Germany 
against  all  Europe  would  never  have  come. 

But  if  Schoenerer  recognized  the  internal  nature  of  the 
problems,  he  was  wrong  as  regards  the  people. 

That  was  again  the  strength  of  Doktor  Lueger. 

He  was  a  rare  judge  of  human  nature,  especially  on  his 
guard  against  believing  that  men  were  better  than  they 
were.  Therefore,  he  took  more  into  account  the  real  possi- 
bilities of  life,  while  Schoenerer  showed  little  understanding 
for  this.  Everything  the  Pan-German  thought  was  correct 
from  the  theoretical  point  of  view;  but  while  the  force  and 
the  understanding  were  lacking  with  which  to  transmit  the 
theoretical  knowledge  to  the  masses  —  that  means  to 
bring  it  into  a  form  which  was  in  keeping  with  their  per- 
ceptive ability,  which  is  and  will  always  be  limited  —  all 
knowledge  was  only  prophetic  wisdom  and  had  no  chance 
ever  to  become  reality. 

This  lack  of  an  actual  knowledge  of  human  nature, 
however,  led  later  on  to  an  error  in  the  evaluation  of  the 
forces  of  entire  movements  as  well  as  of  age-old  institu- 
tions. 

But  Schoenerer  finally  had  recognized  that  the  questions 
involved  were  those  of  various  views  of  life,  but  he  had  not 
understood  that  above  all  only  the  great  masses  of  a  people 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    127 

are  suited  to  be  the  bearers  of  such  almost  religious  con- 
victions. 

Unfortunately,  he  understood  only  to  a  very  small 
degree  the  extreme  limitation  of  the  will  to  fight  in  the  so- 
called  4  bourgeois '  circles,  in  consequence  of  their  economic 
situation  which  makes  the  individual  fear  to  lose  too  much 
and  therefore  holds  him  back. 

And  yet,  a  view  of  life  may  in  general  only  hope  for 
victory  if  the  broad  masses,  as  the  bearers  of  the  new  doc- 
trine, declare  themselves  ready  to  take  upon  themselves 
the  necessary  fight. 

From  this  lack  of  understanding  of  the  importance  of 
the  lower  classes  there  resulted  also  a  totally  insufficient 
conception  of  the  social  question. 

In  all  this  Doktor  Lueger  was  the  reverse  of  Schoenerer. 

His  thorough  knowledge  of  human  nature  made  him 

The  phrase  'religious  faith'  would  seem  to  reflect  Georges 
Sorel's  theory  of  the  revolutionary  myth  as  expounded  in  his 
Reflexions  sur  la  violence.  It  is  improbable,  however,  that 
Hitler  ever  saw  the  book,  and  in  addition  there  are  important 
differences  between  Sorel's  conception  and  Hitler's.  Nor  is  the 
affinity  with  Friedrich  Nietzsche,  often  taken  for  granted,  in 
any  sense  real.  It  may  well  be  that  Sorel  and  Nietzsche  induced 
many  German  intellectuals  to  join  the  Nazi  movement,  but  the 
reasoning  was  clearly  erroneous.  Hitler  subscribes  to  no 
doctrine  of  the  superman.  His  strength  and  originality  lie  in 
the  fact  that  he  identifies  himself  with  the  masses  in  so  far  as 
these  want  to  arm  for  national  aggrandizement.  It  does  not 
matter  how  much  the  individual  component  man  or  woman  in 
these  masses  knows  or  what  he  or  she  is,  so  long  as  willingness 
is  present  to  be  subordinate  to  the  instinct  of  common  'self- 
preservation*  —  i.e.,  organization  for  the  conquest  of  whatever 
is  necessary  to  extend  the  sway  of  the  folk  as  a  whole.  The 
leader  is  he  who  most  strongly  senses  the  needs  and  desires  of 
the  unified  nation,  and  not  he  who  —  as  Nietzsche  and  Stefan 


128  MEIN  KAMPF 

estimate  the  possible  forces  just  as  correctly,  as  he  was  also 
prevented  by  this  from  underestimating  existing  institu- 
tions, and  perhaps  for  this  very  reason  he  learned  to  use 
them  as  instruments  in  attaining  his  aims. 

He  also  understood  only  too  well  that  in  our  time  the  up- 
per bourgeoisie's  energy  for  a  political  fight  was  only  limited 
and  not  sufficient  to  help  a  great  movement  to  victory. 
Therefore,  he  put  the  weight  of  his  political  activity  on  win- 
ning over  those  classes  the  existence  of  which  was  threat- 
ened, and  this,  therefore,  became  a  stimulant  rather  than  an 
impediment  of  the  will  to  fight.  In  the  same  way  he  was  in- 
clined to  use  all  the  instruments  of  power  already  existing, 
and  to  gain  the  favor  of  influential  institutions,  in  order  to 
be  able  to  draw  the  greatest  possible  advantage  for  his  own 
movement  from  such  old-established  sources  of  power. 

So  he  based  his  party  primarily  on  the  middle  classes 
which  were  threatened  with  extinction,  and  so  assured  him- 
self a  group  of  followers  almost  impossible  to  unnerve, 
filled  with  a  readiness  for  sacrifice  as  well  as  with  a  tough 
fighting  strength.  His  infinitely  clever  policy  towards  the 
Catholic  Church  won  for  him  in  a  short  time  the  younger 
clergy  to  such  an  extent  that  the  old  Clerical  Party  was 
either  forced  to  leave  the  battlefield  or,  more  wisely  still, 
to  join  the  new  party  in  order  thus  slowly  to  regain  one  po- 
sition after  the  other. 

If  one  were  to  consider  this  the  sole  characteristic  of  his 


George  believed  —  makes  use  of  the  *  slaves '  in  order  to  assure 
the  triumph  and  happiness  of  a  more  regal  aristocracy  than 
the  world  has  known.  In  short,  for  all  his  elements  of  patriotic 
mysticism,  Hitler  is  no  Platonist,  but  a  Spartan  in  the  simplest 
sense.  That  is  why  Germans  have  found  it  so  difficult  to  resist 
him.  As  one  of  them  has  put  it,  '  He  flatters  us  all  into  acqui- 
escence.' It  may  be  added  that  when  Hitler  says  that  the 
'psyche  of  the  masses  is  feminine/  he  is  echoing  Gustav  Le  Bon. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    129 

nature,  one  would  do  him  a  grave  injustice.  For  to  the 
clever  tactician  were  added  the  qualities  of  a  really  great 
and  ingenious  reformer.  Also  here,  of  course,  his  actions 
were  limited  by  the  exact  knowledge  of  already  existing  pos- 
sibilities and  also  by  the  abilities  of  his  own  person. 

It  was  an  infinitely  practical  goal  which  this  really  im- 
portant man  had  set  for  himself.  He  wanted  to  conquer 
Vienna.  Vienna  was  the  heart  of  the  monarchy,  and  it  was 
from  this  city  that  the  last  bit  of  vitality  went  out  into  the 
ailing  and  aging  body  of  the  decaying  realm.  The  healthier 
the  heart  should  become,  the  more  freshly  would  the  rest  of 
the  body  revive.  A  fundamentally  correct  idea,  which,  how- 
ever, was  applicable  only  for  a  prescribed  and  limited 
time. 

And  therein  lay  the  weakness  of  this  man. 

What  he  achieved,  as  mayor  of  the  city  of  Vienna,  is  im- 
mortal in  the  best  sense  of  the  word ;  however,  he  was  not 
able  to  save  the  monarchy,  it  was  too  late. 

This  his  adversary  Schoenerer  had  realized  more 
clearly. 

Doktor  Lueger  succeeded  in  everything  he  attacked  prac- 
tically ;  the  result  he  had  hoped  for  did  not  come. 

Schoenerer  did  not  succeed  in  what  he  wanted,  but  what 
he  feared  occurred  in  an  only  too  terrible  manner. 

Thus  neither  man  achieved  his  broader  goal.  Lueger 
was  no  longer  able  to  save  Austria,  and  Schoenerer  could 
not  save  the  German  people  from  decline. 

Now,  it  is  infinitely  instructive  for  our  time  to  study  the 
causes  of  this  failure  of  both  parties.  This  is  especially  use- 
ful for  my  friends,  as  in  many  points  circumstances  are  to- 
day similar  to  those  of  that  period,  and  thus  mistakes  may 
be  avoided  which  had  already  brought  about  the  end  of  the 
first  movement  and  the  frustration  of  the  second. 

In  my  eyes  there  were  three  causes  for  the  collapse  of  the 
Pan-German  movement  in  Austria : 


130  MEIN  KAMPF 

First,  the  confused  conception  of  the  importance  of  social 
problems  for  a  new  party,  the  inner  nature  of  which  was 
revolutionary. 

Inasmuch  as  Schoenerer  primarily  turned  to  the  bour- 
geois classes,  the  result  could  only  be  a  very  weak  and  tame 
one. 

The  German  bourgeoisie  in  its  higher  circles,  though  the 
individual  is  not  aware  of  this,  is  pacifistic  to  the  degree  of 
self-denial,  where  the  domestic  affairs  of  the  nation  or  of  the 
State  are  concerned.  In  good  times  —  that  means  in  times 
under  a  good  government  —  such  an  attitude  is  a  reason  for 
the  extreme  value  which  these  classes  have  for  the  State; 
in  times  of  bad  government,  however,  it  has  a  really  de- 
vastating effect.  In  order  to  make  the  carrying-out  of  a 
really  serious  struggle  possible  at  all,  the  Pan-German  move- 
ment should  have  devoted  itself  to  winning  over  the  masses. 
The  fact  that  it  did  not  do  so  took  from  it  at  the  beginning 
the  elementary  impetus  that  such  a  wave  requires  if  it  is 
not  to  ebb  after  even  a  short  time. 

But  as  soon  as  this  principle  is  not  observed  and  carried 
out  from  the  beginning,  the  new  party  loses  all  chances  to 


This  passage  gains  in  interest  when  one  compares  it  with  the 
tactic  adopted  by  the  Nazis  after  their  political  victory  of 
September,  1930.  They  now  entered  the  Reichstag  in  hitherto 
unparalleled  numbers;  but  from  the  beginning  they  refused  to 
accept  any  responsibility  for  what  was  being  done  and  con- 
tinuously disrupted  and  hampered  the  proceedings.  Some 
individual  members  were  willing  to  share  the  burden  of  legisla- 
tive activity,  but  they  were  not  permitted  to  have  their  way. 
Initially  the  107  elected  parliamentarians  had  marched  into  the 
Reichstag  clad  in  brown  uniforms.  Outside  the  building,  groups 
of  partisans  demonstrated,  and  when  police  detachments  ap- 
peared they  marched  off  to  the  Leipzigerstrasse  and  smashed 
the  windows  of  Jewish  shops.  Later  disturbances  were  even 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    131 

make  up  later  for  what  it  had  neglected.  For  now,  with 
the  admission  of  extremely  great  and  moderate  bourgeois 
elements,  the  internal  attitude  of  the  movement  will  always 
shape  itself  towards  these,  and  thus  it  will  lose  all  hope  of 
ever  winning  any  worth-while  forces  from  the  great  masses 
of  the  population.  What  is  more  such  a  movement  will  not 
get  over  the  stage  of  pale  [sic]  grumbling  and  criticizing. 
The  more  or  less  almost  religious  belief,  combined  with  a 
similar  readiness  for  sacrifice,  will  never  be  found  again; 
whereas  it  might  probably  be  replaced  by  the  endeavor  to 
polish  gradually  the  harsh  sides  of  the  struggle  by  '  positive* 
co-operation;  that  means,  in  this  case,  by  recognition  of 
given  facts,  so  that  finally  one  will  arrive  at  a  foul  peace. 

So  it  also  happened  to  the  Pan-German  movement,  be- 
cause it  had  not  laid  enough  stress  on  winning  its  followers 
from  the  circles  of  the  great  masses  at  the  start.  It  achieved 
a  '  bourgeois  dignity,  mutedly  radical/ 

From  this  mistake  resulted  the  second  cause  of  its  rapid 
decline. 

The  German  nationality's  situation  in  Austria  was  al- 
ready desperate  at  the  time  when  the  Pan-German  move- 
ment appeared.  From  year  to  year  parliament  had  become 
an  instrument  for  the  gradual  destruction  of  the  German 
people.  Only  the  abolition  of  this  institution  could  promise 


more  grotesque.  But  with  Hindenburg's  re-election  in  1931  the 
prestige  of  the  Nazi  Party  began  to  fade,  only  to  be  revived 
again  when  Chancellor  Brtining  was  dismissed  and  the  govern- 
ment entrusted  to  Franz  von  Papen  against  the  will  of  the 
Reichstag.  Papen  thereupon  systematically  undermined  the 
Republic,  so  that  it  was  virtually  defenseless  when  in  1933 
Hitler  was  entrusted  with  the  government.  Had  it  not  been  for 
this  sudden  change  in  the  German  leadership,  Hitler  might 
eventually  have  been  compelled  to  seek  a  status  as  a  normal 
political  leader  and  try  his  hand  at  the  parliamentarian  game. 


132  MEIN  KAMPF 

moderate  success  in  any  attempted  salvation  in  the  elev- 
enth hour. 

fWith  this  the  movement  was  approached  by  a  question 
that  was  important  in  principle. 

In  order  to  destroy  parliament,  was  one  to  go  into  it  and 
'  to  hollow  it  out  from  within/  as  one  was  accustomed  to  ex- 
press it,  or  was  one  to  lead  this  fight  from  the  outside  by 
attacking  the  institution  as  such? 

One  went  in  and  came  out  beaten. 

Of  course,  one  had  to  go  in. 

To  carry  out  the  fight  against  such  an  institution  from  the 
outside  means  to  arm  oneself  with  unshakable  courage,  and 
also  to  be  ready  for  unheard-of  sacrifices.  This  means  to 
seize  the  bull  by  the  horns  and  to  receive  many  blows,  to 
fall  to  the  ground  sometimes,  and  perhaps  to  rise  again  with 
broken  bones,  and  only  after  the  hardest  struggle  will  vic- 
tory turn  to  the  courageous  aggressor.  Only  the  greatness 
of  the  sacrifices  will  win  new  fighters  for  the  cause,  till  per- 
severance finally  receives  the  reward  of  success. 

But  for  this  one  needs  the  children  from  the  great  masses 
of  the  nation. 

They  alone  are  determined  and  tough  enough  to  fight  this 
struggle  to  the  bloody  end. 

But  the  Pan-German  movement  did  not  possess  these 
broad  masses;  thus  it  had  no  other  choice  but  to  go  into 
parliament. 

It  would  be  wrong  to  believe  that  this  decision  had  been 
the  result  of  long  mental  agonies  or  even  reflections;  no, 
one  did  not  think  of  anything  else.  The  participation  in 
this  nonsense  was  only  the  sediment  of  general  and  confused 
conceptions  of  the  importance  and  the  effect  of  participa- 
tion in  an  institution  which  had  already  been  recognized  as 
being  fundamentally  wrong.  In  general,  one  probably 
hoped  for  relief  in  the  work  of  the  enlightenment  of  the 
great  masses,  because  now  one  had  an  opportunity  to  speak 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    133 

before  the  'forum  of  the  entire  nation/  Further,  it  seemed 
evident  that  it  was  more  successful  to  attack  the  evil  at  the 
root  than  from  the  outside.  By  protection  through  im- 
munity one  believed  the  security  of  the  individual  protago- 
nist would  be  strengthened,  so  that  the  force  of  the  attack 
could  only  be  increased  thereby. 

But  in  reality  things  came  about  quite  differently.  <• 

The  forum  before  which  the  Pan-German  deputies  spoke 
had  not  become  greater  but  rather  smaller;  for  everybody 
speaks  only  before  the  audience  that  is  able  to  hear  him,  or 
that  receives  a  description  of  what  has  been  said  through 
the  reports  of  the  press. 

But  the  greatest  direct  audience  is  not  represented  by  the 
hall  of  parliament,  but  by  the  great  public  meeting. 

For  there,  there  will  be  thousands  of  people  who  have 
only  come  to  hear  what  the  speaker  has  to  say,  whereas  in 
the  session  hall  of  the  House  of  Deputies  there  are  only  a 
few  hundred,  whose  chief  reason  for  coming  is  only  to  re- 
ceive their  remuneration  and  not  to  let  themselves  be  en- 
lightened by  the  wisdom  of  the  one  or  the  other  of  the  '  peo- 
ple's representative.' 

But  above  all : 

It  is  always  the  same  public  which  will  never  add  to  its 
knowledge,  not  only  because  it  lacks  the  brains  for  this,  but 
also  the  necessary,  though  modest,  will  power. 

Never  will  one  of  these  deputies  willingly  do  better  [$ic] 
truth  the  honor  of  entering  its  service. 

No,  not  one  of  them  will  do  that,  except  he  hopes  to  save 
or  to  regain  his  mandate  for  a  further  session.  For  as  soon 
as  it  is  in  the  air  that  the  existing  party  will  not  do  very 
well  in  a  coming  election,  only  then  will  these  ornaments  of 
manliness  set  out  to  see  how  they  can  gain  the  other,  prob- 
ably winning  party  or  direction,  whereby  this  change  of  po- 
sition takes  place  under  a  cloudburst  of  moral  motivations. 
Therefore,  whenever  an  existing  party  seems  to  be  out  of 


134  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  people's  favor  to  the  extent  that  an  annihilating  defeat 
is  threatened,  a  great  migration  begins:  the  parliamentary 
rats  leave  the  party  ship. 

This  has  nothing  to  do  with  greater  knowledge  or  will 
power,  but  with  that  clairvoyant  ability  which  warns  such 
a  parliamentary  bedbug  just  in  time,  so  that  it  can  let  itself 
drop  on  another  warm  party  bed. 

To  speak  before  such  a  4 forum*  means  really  to  cast 
pearls  before  certain  well-known  animals.  This  is  really  not 
worth  while.  The  result  cannot  be  other  than  naught. 

This,  then,  was  actually  the  case. 

The  Pan-German  deputies  could  talk  on  till  their  throats 
were  hoarse;  the  effect  was  naught. 

The  press,  however,  passed  over  it  in  silence  or  mutilated 
the  speeches  in  a  way  that  every  connection,  even  often 
their  meaning,  was  lost  or  distorted,  so  that  public  opinion 
was  given  only  a  very  poor  picture  of  the  intentions  of  the 
new  movement.  It  was  of  no  importance  whatsoever  what 
the  individual  gentlemen  now  said;  the  importance  rested 
in  what  one  read  of  them.  But  this  was  only  an  abstract  of 
their  speeches,  which,  in  its  tattered  condition,  was  nothing 
but  nonsense  —  and  so  it  was  intended.  But  the  only  forum 
before  which  they  actually  spoke  consisted  of  barely  five 
hundred  parliamentarians,  and  that  says  enough. 

But  the  worst  was  the  following: 

The  Pan-German  movement  could  hope  for  success  only 
if  it  realized  from  the  very  first  day  that  the  question  in- 
volved was  not  that  of  a  new  party  but  that  of  a  new  view  of 
life.  The  latter  alone  was  able  to  summon  the  internal 
strength  to  fight  out  this  gigantic  struggle.  But  for  this 
only  the  best  and  the  most  courageous  characters  are  suited 
to  act  as  leaders. 

If  the  fight  for  a  new  view  of  life  is  not  led  by  heroes  will- 
ing to  sacrifice  themselves,  then  no  more  will  death-defying 
fighters  be  found.  He  who  in  such  a  case  fights  for  his 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    135 

own  existence  cannot  have  much  consideration  left  for  the 
community. 

fBut  in  order  to  preserve  this  assumption,  it  is  necessary 
for  everybody  to  know  that  the  new  movement  has  nothing 
to  offer  to  the  present  except  the  honor  and  the  fame  of 
posterity.  The  more  easily-to-be-won  positions  such  a 
movement  has  to  offer,  the  greater  will  be  the  onrush  of  in- 
ferior stuff,  till  finally  these  political  jobbers  overcrowd  a 
successful  political  party  in  such  numbers  that  the  honest 
fighter  of  an  earlier  time  no  longer  recognizes  the  old  move- 
ment, so  that  the  newcomers  themselves  decidedly  reject 
him  as  an  unwelcome  '  intruder/ 

With  this  the  '  mission '  of  such  a  movement  is  finished. 

From  the  moment  the  Pan-German  movement  sold  itself 
to  parliament,  it  gained  'parliamentarians'  instead  of  lead- 
ers and  fighters. 

Thus  it  deteriorated  to  the  level  of  ordinary  political 
parties  of  the  day  and  lost  the  force  to  oppose  a  catastrophic 
destiny  with  the  defiance  of  martyrdom.  Instead. of  fight- 
ing, it  now  learned  to  'speak'  and  to  'negotiate.'  The  new 
parliamentarian  considered  it,  within  a  short  time,  a  nicer 
duty,  because  it  involved  less  risk,  to  fight  for  the  new  view 
of  life  with  the  '  intellectual '  weapons  of  parliamentary  elo- 
quence than  to  throw  himself  into  a  fight,  and  possibly 
risking  his  own  life,  whose  end  was  uncertain  and  in  any 
case  did  not  promise  any  gain. 

But  as  now  the  party  was  in  parliament,  the  followers  out- 
side began  to  hope  and  to  wait  for  miracles,  which,  of  course, 
never  happened  and  never  could  happen.  Therefore,  they 
became  impatient  within  a  short  time;  for  also  what  one 
heard  of  one's  own  deputies  in  no  way  corresponded  with 
the  expectations  of  the  voters.  This  was  only  too  natural, 
as  the  hostile  press  took  heed  not  to  report  a  true-to-life 
picture  of  the  Pan-German  representative  to  the  people. 

But  the  more  the  new  deputies  began  to  find  palatable 


136  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  rather  mild  form  of  'revolutionary*  fight  in  parliament 
and  the  diet,  the  less  were  they  ready  to  return  to  the  more 
dangerous  work  of  enlightening  the  nation's  great  masses. 

Therefore,  the  mass  meeting,  being  direct  and  personal, 
and  which  was  the  only  way  of  exercising  a  really  effective 
influence  and  which,  therefore,  alone  could  enable  the  win- 
ning of  great  parts  of  the  nation,  was  pushed  more  and  more 
into  the  background. 

Once  the  beer  table  of  the  meeting  hall  was  exchanged  for 
the  platform  of  parliament,  so  that  from  this  exalted  forum 
speeches  could  be  poured  into  the  heads  of  the  so-called 
'elected  representatives'  instead  of  into  the  people,  the 
Pan-German  movement  ceased  to  be  a  people's  movement 
and  gradually  sank  into  a  club  for  academic  discussion,  to 
be  taken  more  or  less  seriously. 

Now  also  the  bad  impression  that  the  press  had  rendered 
was  in  no  way  repaired  by  the  personal  assembly  activity  of 
the  various  gentlemen,  so  that  finally  the  word  4  Pan-Ger- 
man' had  a  very  bad  sound  in  the  ears  of  the  great  public. 

For  let  it  be  said  to  all  knights  of  the  pen  and  to  all  the 
political  dandies,  especially  of  today :  the  greatest  changes  in 
this  world  have  never  yet  been  brought  about  by  a  goose- 
quill! 

No,  the  pen  has  always  been  reserved  to  motivate  these 
changes  theoretically. 

But  the  power  which  set  the  greatest  historical  avalanches 
of  political  and  religious  nature  sliding  was,  from  the  begin- 
ning of  time,  the  magic  force  of  the  spoken  word  alone. 

The  great  masses  of  a  nation  will  always  and  only  suc- 
cumb to  the  force  of  the  spoken  word.  But  all  great  move- 
ments are  movements  of  the  people,  are  volcanic  eruptions 
of  human  passions  and  spiritual  sensations,  stirred  either  by 
the  cruel  Goddess  of  Misery  or  by  the  torch  of  the  word 
thrown  into  the  masses,  and  are  not  the  lemonade-like  out- 
pourings of  aestheticizing  literati  and  drawing-room  heroes. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    137 

Only  a  storm  of  burning  passion  can  turn  people's  des- 
tinies, but  only  he  who  harbors  passion  in  himself  can  arouse 
passion. 

Passion  alone  will  give  to  him,  who  is  chosen  by  her,  the 
words  that,  like  beats  of  a  hammer,  are  able  to  open  the 
doors  to  the  heart  of  a  people. 

He  to  whom  passion  is  denied  and  whose  mouth  remains 
closed  is  not  chosen  by  Heaven  as  the  prophet  of  its  will. 

Therefore,  may  every  writer  remain  by  his  inkwell  in 
order  to  work  'theoretically'  if  his  brains  and  ability  are 
sufficient  for  this ;  such  writers  are  neither  born  nor  chosen 
to  become  leaders. 

Every  movement  with  great  aims  has  anxiously  to  watch 
that  it  may  not  lose  connection  with  the  great  masses. 

It  has  to  examine  every  question  primarily  from  this 
point  of  view  and  to  make  decisions  in  this  direction. 

Further,  it  has  to  avoid  everything  that  could  diminish 
or  even  weaken  its  ability  to  influence  the  masses;  perhaps 
not  for  'demagogic*  reasons,  no,  but  because  of  the  simple 
realization  that  without  the  enormous  power  of  the  masses 
of  a  people  no  great  idea,  no  matter  how  sublime  and  lofty 
it  may  appear,  is  realizable. 

Hard  reality  alone  conditions  the  way  that  leads  to 
every  goal;  shunning  disagreeable  ways  means,  in  this 
world,  only  too  often  to  renounce  the  goal;  one  may  wish 
this  or  not. 

As  soon  as  the  Pan-German  movement,  because  of  its 
parliamentary  position,  began  to  place  the  weight  of  its  ac- 
tivity upon  parliament  instead  of  upon  the  people,  it  lost 
its  future  and  won  cheap  successes  of  the  moment. 

It  chose  the  easier  fight,  and  therewith  it  was  no  longer 
worthy  of  the  ultimate  victory. 

Already  in  Vienna  I  had  thought  most  thoroughly  about 
just  this  question,  and  in  its  non-recognition  I  saw  one  of 
the  causes  for  the  decline  of  the  movement  whose  mission. 


138  MEIN  KAMPF 

in  my  eyes,  was  to  take  the  leadership  of  Germanity  into 
its  hands. 

The  first  two  mistakes  which  made  the  Pan-German 
movement  fail  were  related  to  each  other.  The  lack  of 
knowledge  of  the  internal  driving  forces  of  great  changes 
led  to  an  insufficient  evaluation  of  the  importance  of  the 
great  masses  of  the  people ;  from  this  resulted  the  scanty  in- 
terest in  the  social  question,  the  deficient  and  insufficient 
courting  of  the  soul  of  the  nation's  lower  classes,  but  also 
the  attitude  towards  parliament  that  favored  this  condi- 
tion. 

If  one  had  recognized  the  tremendous  power  which  at  all 
times  is  due  to  the  masses  as  the  bearer  of  revolutionary 
resistance,  one  would  certainly  have  applied  a  different 
policy  as  regards  social  and  propagandistic  directions.  Then 
the  center  of  weight  of  this  movement  would  not  have  been 
removed  to  the  parliament,  but  stressed  in  the  workshops 
and  streets. 

But  the  third  mistake  also  bears  the  ultimate  germ  in  the 
non-recognition  of  the  value  of  the  masses,  which,  like  a 
fly-wheel,  gives  impetus  and  uniform  continuance  to  the 
force  of  the  attack,  once  they  have  been  set  in  motion  in  one 
certain  direction  by  superior  minds.  <• 

The  serious  struggle  that  the  Pan-German  movement 
had  to  fight  out  with  the  Catholic  Church  can  be  explained 
only  by  the  insufficient  understanding  which  one  had  for 
the  spiritual  disposition  of  the  people. 

The  new  party's  violent  attacks  against  Rome  were 
caused  by  the  following: 

As  soon  as  the  House  of  Habsburg  had  reached  the  final 
determination  to  transform  Austria  into  a  Slavic  State,  it 
took  up  every  means  that  seemed  suitable  in  this  direction. 
Religious  institutions  also  were  dishonestly  taken  into  the 
service  of  the  neW  'idea  of  State*  by  the  most  unscrupulous 
of  all  dynasties. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    139 

The  use  of  Czech  pastorates  and  their  spiritual  pastors 
was  only  one  of  the  many  means  to  reach  the  goal  of  Aus- 
tria's general  Slavization. 

The  procedure  involved  was  about  the  following: 

In  purely  German  parishes  Czech  pastors  were  appointed 
who  slowly  but  steadily  began  to  put  the  interests  of  the 
Czech  nation  above  those  of  the  Church,  thus  becoming 
germ  cells  of  the  process  of  de-Germanization. 

Unfortunately,  the  German  clergy  almost  failed  com- 
pletely in  the  face  of  such  a  procedure.  Not  only  that  the 
clergy  themselves  were  entirely  unfit  for  a  similar  struggle 
from  the  German  point  of  view ;  they  were  not  able  to  meet 
the  attacks  of  the  other  with  the  necessary  resistance.  Thus, 
by  way  of  religious  abuse  on  the  one  hand,  the  German  na- 
tion was  not  well  enough  defended  on  the  other  hand,  and 
was  being  pushed  back  slowly  but  incessantly. 

If  this  happened  in  small  matters,  unfortunately  the  sit- 
uation in  general  was  not  very  different. 

Here,  too,  the  anti-German  attempts  of  the  Habsburgs 
did  not  meet  the  necessary  resistance,  especially  on  the 
part  of  the  higher  clergy,  while  the  representation  of  the 
German  interests  was  pushed  completely  into  the  back- 
ground. 

The  general  impression  could  but  be  that  this  was  a  bru- 
tal infringement  on  German  rights  by  the  Catholic  clergy 
as  such. 

With  this,  however,  the  Church  did  not  seem  to  feel  with 
the  German  people,  but  seemed  unjustly  to  take  sides  with 
its  enemies.  The  root  of  the  evil  was,  especially  in  Schoener- 
er's  opinion,  that  the  head  of  the  Catholic  Church  was  not 
in  Germany,  a  fact  which  accounted  for  the  hostility  to- 
wards the  concerns  of  our  nationality. 

The  so-called  cultural  problems  were  almost  completely 
pushed  into  the  background,  as  was  the  case  with  nearly 
everything  in  Austria  at  that  time  Decisive  for  the  atti- 


140  MEIN  KAMPF 

tude  of  the  Pan-German  movement  towards  the  Catholic 
Church  was  far  less  the  Church's  attitude  against,  perhaps, 
science,  etc.,  than,  what  is  more,  its  insufficient  representa- 
tion of  German  rights,  and,  on  the  other  hand,  its  continued 
advancement  of  especially  Slavic  arrogance  and  greed. 

Now,  George  Schoenerer  was  not  the  man  to  do  things  by 
halves.  He  took  up  the  fight  against  the  Church  with  the 
conviction  that  only  thus  could  the  German  people  perhaps 
still  be  saved.  The  ' Los-von-Rom9  movement  seemed  the 
most  powerful,  but  also  the  most  difficult,  procedure  of  at- 
tack destined  to  smash  the  fortress  of  the  enemy.  If  it  was 
successful,  then  the  unfortunate  schism  of  the  Church  in 
Germany  was  overcome,  and  the  internal  strength  of  the 
Reich  and  the  German  nation  could  not  fail  to  gain  enor- 
mously by  such  a  victory. 

But  neither  the  assumption  nor  the  conclusion  of  this 
fight  was  correct. 

In  all  questions  concerning  the  German  nationality,  the 
national  resistance  of  the  Catholic  clergy  of  German  na- 
tionality was  undoubtedly  weaker  than  that  of  their  non- 
German  brethren,  especially  the  Czechs. 

Also,  only  an  ignoramus  could  fail  to  see  that  the  Ger- 
man clergy  never  so  much  as  thought  of  an  active  represen- 
tation of  German  interests. 

Also,  everyone  who  was  not  blind  had  to  admit  that  this 
was  due  first  of  all  to  a  circumstance  from  which  we  Ger- 
mans all  have  to  suffer  severely;  it  is  the  objectivity  of  our 
attitude  towards  our  nationality  as  well  as  towards  anything 
else. 

Just  as  the  Czech  clergyman  has  an  attitude  that  is  sub- 
jective towards  his  people  and  only  objective  towards  the 
Church,  thus  the  German  clergyman  was  subjective  to- 
wards the  Church  and  objective  towards  the  nation.  It 
was  a  fact  which  we  may  unfortunately  observe  in  thou- 
sands of  other  cases. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    141 

This  is  in  no  way  a  special  hereditary  feature  of  Cathol- 
icism, but  in  our  country  it  eats  into  almost  any,  especially 
governmental  or  idealistic  institutions. 

Compare  the  attitude  which  our  officials  show  towards 
the  attempts  of  a  national  rebirth  with  that  which  in  such 
a  case  the  officials  of  another  nation  would  show.  Or  does 
one  believe  that  the  officers'  corps  of  the  rest  of  the  world 
would  in  a  similar  way  place  the  concerns  of  their  nation  in 
the  background  with  the  phrase  of  'State  authority/  as  has 
been  our  custom  for  these  past  five  years,  a  fact  that  is  even 
looked  upon  as  especially  meritorious?  Do  not  both  reli- 
gions today,  for  instance,  take  an  attitude  towards  the 
Jewish  question  that  neither  answers  the  concerns  of  the 
nation  nor  the  real  needs  of  religion?  Compare  the  attitude 
of  a  Jewish  rabbi  towards  all  questions,  even  of  only  minor 
importance  for  Judaism  as  a  race,  with  that  of  the  far 
greater  part  of  our  clergy,  but,  if  you  please,  of  both  reli- 
gions! 

We  find  this  symptom  whenever  the  representation  of  an 
abstract  idea  is  involved. 

'State  authority/  'democracy/  'pacifism/  'international 
solidarity/  etc.,  are  all  conceptions  which  in  our  country 
nearly  always  turn  into  stiff,  purely  doctrinary  notions,  so 
that  every  judgment  of  the  general  national  necessities  of 
life  originates  exclusively  from  their  point  of  view. 

This  unfortunate  way  of  looking  at  all  concerns  from  the 
angle  of  a  previously  accepted  idea  kills  all  ability  to  think 
subjectively  of  a  thing  that  is  objectively  contradictory  to 
one's  own  doctrine,  and  eventually  it  leads  to  a  complete 
reversal  of  means  and  end.  Then  one  will  turn  against 
every  attempt  at  a  national  rising  if  this  could  take  place 
only  after  first  doing  away  with  an  inefficient,  destructive 
regime,  as  this  would  mean  an  offense  against  'State  au- 
thority/ but  since  'State  authority'  is  not  a  means  to  an 
end,  but  in  the  eyes  of  such  an  'objective'  fanatic  it  repre- 


142  MEIN  KAMPF 

sents  the  end  itself,  that  is  sufficient  to  fill  out  his  entire 
miserable  life.  Then  one  will  indignantly  resist  an  at- 
tempted dictatorship,  even  if  it  were  Frederick  the  Great, 
and  if  the  State  artists  of  a  parliamentary  majority  were 
only  inefficient  dwarfs  or  even  inferior  scoundrels,  because 
to  such  a  stickler  for  principles  the  law  of  democracy  seems 
more  sacred  than  the  welfare  of  a  nation.  The  one,  there- 
fore, will  protect  the  worst  tyranny  that  ruins  a  people,  as 
for  the  moment  it  represents  the  'State  authority/  while 
the  other  rejects  even  the  most  blessed  government,  as 
long  as  it  does  not  represent  his  idea  of  'democracy.' 

In  exactly  the  same  way  our  German  pacifist  will  pass 
over  in  silence  the  most  bloody  rape  of  the  nation,  it  may 
come  from  even  the  fiercest  military  powers,  if  a  change  of 

At  no  time  was  German  pacifism  more  highly  developed  than 
pacifism  was  in  any  other  country  subscribing  to  the  principles 
of  civilization.  But  it  is  true  that  the  Social  Democrats  had 
taught  international  worker  solidarity  more  ardently  than 
had  some  other  Socialist  groups,  though  they  too  —  barring 
a  few  leaders  —  succumbed  to  the  enthusiasm  of  1914.  Later 
on,  when  doubts  concerning  the  War  began  to  arise,  some  of  the 
older  feeling  returned  and  the  dissident  leaders  were  able  to 
muster  considerable  strength.  Christian  pacifism,  on  the  other 
hand,  was  after  the  War  given  a  powerful  impetus  by  the  Peace 
Encyclicals  of  the  Pope,  which  made  an  impression  on  Catho- 
lics and  Protestants  alike.  The  coming  of  Hitler  to  power 
naturally  spelled  the  end  of  such  efforts.  All  members  of  pacifist 
organizations  —  which  did  not  question  the  legitimacy  of 
national  defense  in  a  just  war  —  were  penalized.  A  number 
of  professors  were  dismissed  from  the  universities,  and  State 
employees  were  thrown  out  of  office  whenever  the  label  of 
pacifist  could  be  affixed  to  them.  The  most  sensational  instance 
was  the  trial  of  Professor  Friedrich  Dessauer  in  1933,  when  the 
Center  Party  statesman  was  subjected  to  imprisonment  and  loss 
of  property  for  alleged  pacifist  activity. 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    143 

this  lot  could  be  brought  about  only  by  resistance,  that 
means  force,  for  this  would  be  contrary  to  the  spirit  of  his 
peace  league.  But  the  international  German  socialist  may 
be  robbed  conjointly  by  the  other  world;  he  accepts  it  with 
fraternal  affection  and  does  not  think  oij^m^a^pr  even 
mere  protest,  because  he  is  —  a  Ger 

This  may  be  deplorable,  but  to 
means  first  to  understand  it. 

The  same  is  the  case  with  the] 
concerns  by  a  part  of  the  clergy.  | 

This  is  neither  wicked  nor  ma 
caused  by  orders  from,  let  us  sa) 
national  determination  in  which 
a  defective  education  for  GermanisnT 
well  as  a  complete  submission  to  the  i 
an  idol. 

Education  for  democracy,  for  international  socialism, 
for  pacifism,  etc.,  is  such  a  stiff  and  exclusive  one  and  so 
purely  subjective  from  these  various  points  of  view,  that 
therefore  the  whole  picture  of  the  remaining  part  of  the 
world  is  also  influenced  by  this  principal  conception,  while 
from  childhood  on  the  attitude  towards  the  German  nation 
has  been  merely  objective.  Thus  the  pacifist,  by  giving  him- 
self subjectively  and  entirely  to  his  idea,  in  face  of  any 
threat  to  his  people  no  matter  how  unjust  and  serious  it 
may  be  (as  long  as  he  is  a  German),  will  always  look  first  for 
the  objective  right  and  he  never  will  join  the  ranks  and  fight 
with  his  flock  out  of  pure  instinct  for  self-preservation. 

How  far  this  is  true  for  the  various  denominations  as 
well,  the  following  shows: 

Protestantism  represents  the  concerns  of  the  German  na- 

This  point  was  to  prove  of  the  greatest  importance.  Lutheran 
teaching  on  the  subject  of  baptism  --  which  is  regarded  as  the 
greatest  sacrament  —  is  that  through  baptism  equality  of 


144  MEIN  KAMPF 

tion  in  a  better  way,  so  far  as  this  is  already  rooted  in  its 
birth  and  later  tradition;  but  it  breaks  down  in  the  moment 
when  the  defense  of  these  national  interests  take  place  in  a 
field  which  is  not  included  in  the  general  line  of  its  ideal 
world  and  traditional  development,  or  which  perhaps  is 
rejected  for  some  reason  or  other. 

Thus  Protestantism  will  always  interest  itself  in  the  pro- 
motion of  all  things  Gertnan  as  such,  whenever  it  is  a  mat- 
ter of  inner  purity  or  increasing  national  sentiment,  the  de- 
fense of  German^  life,  the  German  language  and  German 
liberty,  as  all  this  is  also  rooted  firmly  in  Protestantism; 


status  before  God  and  in  the  Church  is  conferred  on  men. 
Difference  of  race  and  endowment  may  and  do  subsist,  but 
they  are  not  of  essential  importance.  Moreover,  the  sacred 
ministry  is  open  to  all  who  have  been  baptized  and  are  called. 
Therewith  Lutheranism  denies  the  priority  of  race.  When 
Hitler  came  to  power,  he  immediately  tried  to  place  the 
governance  of  the  Lutheran  Church  in  the  hands  of  men  who 
were  willing  to  alter  the  traditional  teaching.  A  large  group  of 
'German  Christians'  who  subscribed  to  Hitler's  views  were 
recruited,  and  their  representative  —  Pastor  Ludwig  M tiller  — 
was  named  Archbishop  at  the  command  of  the  government. 
The  majority  of  German  theologians  refused,  however,  to 
accept  so  drastic  a  tampering  with  their  creed.  Gradually  they 
formed  the  Confessional  Synod,  and  this  has  until  now  — 
despite  all  pressure  and  suffering  —  clung  resolutely  to  the 
orthodox  point  of  view.  The  best-known  spokesman  for  this 
point  of  view  is  Pastor  Martin  Niemoller,  who  was  imprisoned 
by  command  of  Hitler  and  is  still  held  in  virtually  solitary 
confinement;  but  there  are  hundreds  of  clergymen  who  have 
learned  to  know  the  meaning  of  opposition.  More  than  twelve 
hundred  of  their  number  have  gone  to  prison;  some  are  dead. 
The  crisis  through  which  Lutherism  is  passing  is  unquestion- 
ably the  gravest  in  its  history.  Cf.  Der  Kampfder  cvangelischen 
Kircke  in  Deutschland.  by  Arthur  Frey  (Zollikon,  1937). 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    145 

but  it  will  immediately  and  sharply  fight  every  attempt  at 
saving  the  nation  from  the  grip  of  its  most  deadly  enemy, 
as  its  attitude  towards  Judaism  is  fixed  more  or  less  by 
dogma.  But  this  involves  a  question  without  the  solution 
of  which  all  attempts  at  a  German  renaissance  or  a  national 
revival  are  and  will  remain  absurd  and  impossible, 
f  During  my  time  at  Vienna  I  had  enough  leisure  and  op- 
portunity to  examine  this  question  also  without  prejudice, 
and  in  daily  contacts  I  was  able  to  determine  the  direction 
of  this  opinion  in  a  thousand  ways. 

In  this  focus  of  the  various  nationalities,  it  was  shown 
most  clearly  that  only  the  German  pacifist  tries  to  look  ob- 
jectively at  the  concerns  of  his  own  nation,  but  the  Jew,  for 
instance,  will  never  do  the  same  with  those  of  the  Jewish 
people;  that  only  the  German  socialist  is  ' international' 
in  a  sense  that  forbids  him  to  ask  for  justice  for  his  people 
other  than  by  whining  and  moaning  before  his  international 
comrades,  but  never  the  Czech  or  the  Pole,  etc. ;  in  short,  I 
recognized  even  then  that  the  misfortune  is  to  be  sought 
only  partly  in  those  doctrines,  but,  for  the  other  part,  in 
our  entirely  insufficient  education  for  our  own  nationality 
as  a  whole,  and,  conditioned  by  this,  in  a  weakened  devo- 
tion to  the  latter. 

This  eliminated  the  first  purely  theoretical  motivation  of 
the  fight  of  the  Pan-German  movement  against  Cathol- 
icism in  itself. 

One  should  educate  the  German  people,  from  childhood 

These  words  seem  to  define  Hitler's  point  of  view  at  the  time 
this  book  was  written,  and  doubtless  reflects  the  situation  in 
which  he  found  himself  in  the  Bavaria  of  1923.  The  statements 
here  made  aroused  the  ire  of  General  Ludendorff,  already  then 
a  violent  opponent  of  Rome  and  the  Jesuits,  and  were  dealt 
with  in  magazine  articles  in  which  the  General  accused  Hitler 
of  having  'sold  out'  to  Rome.  The  Fuhrer  was  at  the  time  un* 


146  MEIN  KAMPF 

on,  to  the  exclusive  acknowledgment  of  the  right  of  their 
own  nationality,  and  one  should  not  poison  the  children's 
hearts  with  the  curse  of  our  'objectivity/  also  in  matters  of 
the  preservation  of  the  ego,  so  that  after  a  short  time  it  will 
be  seen  (provided  there  exists  also  a  radical  national  gov- 
ernment) that,  as  in  Ireland,  Poland,  or  France,  in  Germany 
also  a  Catholic  will  always  be  a  German. 

The  most  convincing  proof  for  this  was  offered  at  a  time 
when  for  the  last  time  our  people  were  summoned,  for  the 
protection  of  its  existence,  before  the  tribunal  of  History 
for  its  struggle  for  life  or  death. 

As  long  as  the  leadership  from  above  did  not  fail,  the  peo- 
ple fulfilled  their  duty  in  the  most  overwhelming  manner. 
Whether  they  were  Protestant  or  Catholic  clergy,  they  both 
had  an  immensely  large  share  in  preserving  for  so  long  a 
time  our  force  of  resistance  not  only  at  the  front  but  even 


certain  of  what  the  future  might  bring,  and  is  known  to  have 
interviewed  leaders  of  the  Bavarian  People's  Party  (Catholic) 
concerning  the  terms  under  which  he  might  be  admitted  to  that 
organization.  Heiden  puts  the  matter  somewhat  differently, 
suggesting  that  Hitler  had  merely  been  trying  to  get  permission 
to  reorganize  the  Nazi  Party.  In  addition  one  of  the  best 
friends  the  Nazis  had  in  the  Bavarian  regular  army  was  General 
Franz  von  Epp,  a  Catholic  who  would  have  frowned  on  any- 
thing smacking  of  religious  warfare. 

Perhaps  —  it  is  not  possible  as  yet  to  substantiate  the  state- 
ment in  full  —  the  change  in  Hitler's  personal  attitude  is 
attributable  primarily  to  the  conversion  of  Cardinal  Faulhaber, 
Archbishop  of  Munich,  from  monarchist  restorationism  to 
democracy  and  pacifism.  The  Cardinal  proclaimed  this  new 
attitude  in  a  sensational  open  letter  which  implied  criticism 
of  the  Nazis.  In  addition  Hitler  had  come  more  under  the 
influence  of  Alfred  Rosenberg,  whose  ideas  on  racialism  and 
religion  have  since  become  standard  Party  fare.  At  any 
rate,  the  Catholic  Church  took  up  in  earnest  the  fight  against 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    147 

more  so  at  home.  During  these  years,  especially  during  the 
first  flare-up,  there  existed  for  both  camps  only  one  single 
and  sacred  German  Reich,  and  everyone  turned  to  his  own 
heaven  for  its  existence  and  future. 

There  is  one  question  which  the  Pan-German  movement 
in  Austria  ought  to  have  asked  itself:  Is  the  preservation  of 
the  German  nation  in  Austria  possible  under  a  Catholic 
faith?  If  it  is  possible,  then  the  political  party  had  no  right 
to  occupy  itself  with  religious  or  even  denominational  af- 
fairs; if  not,  however,  then  a  religious  reformation  had  to 
set  in,  and  not  a  political  party. 

He  who  believes  he  may  arrive  at  a  religious  reformation 
by  the  roundabout  way  of  a  political  organization  only 
shows  that  he  really  has  not  the  slightest  idea  of  the  way  in 
which  religious  conceptions  or  even  dogmas  originate  and 
their  effect  upon  the  Church. 


the  Nazi  creed  after  the  triumphant  elections  of  1930.  A 
number  of  pastoral  letters  denounced  the  errors  contained  in 
the  Party  program  and  in  the  books  of  important  leaders;  and 
late  in  1930  the  Ordinary  of  the  diocese  of  Mayence  refused  to 
grant  Catholic  burial  to  a  Nazi.  After  Hitler  came  to  powei , 
all  this  was  changed.  The  Bishops  revised  their  attitude; 
a  Concordat  was  signed  with  the  Holy  See.  Even  more  re- 
cently some  Catholic  leaders  have  professed  to  believe  that 
a  modus  vivendi  with  Hitler  might  be  reached. 

We  possess  authentic  records  of  Chancellor  Hitler's  private 
views  of  the  religious  situation.  One  of  these  may  be  cited  in 
part:  'Hitler  said  concerning  Catholic  opposition,  especially  in 
Bavaria,  that  its  fomentors  were  wasting  their  time.  They 
might  as  well  stop  pipe-dreaming.  He  would  not  follow  the 
example  of  Bismarck.  He  was  a  Catholic.  Providence  had 
arranged  that.  Bismarck  had  failed  because  he  had  been 
a  Protestant  —  and  Protestants  have  no  conception  of  what  the 
Catholic  Church  is.  The  important  thing  was  to  sense  what 


148  MEIN  KAMPF 

Here  one  really  cannot  serve  two  masters.  In  this,  I  con- 
sider the  foundation  or  the  destruction  of  a  religion  essen- 
tially more  important  than  the  foundation  or  destruction 
of  a  State,  let  alone  a  party. 

But  one  must  not  say  that  this  was  only  the  warding- 
off  of  attacks  from  the  other  side! 

It  is  certain  that  at  all  times  unscrupulous  people  did  not 
shrink  from  making  religion  a  tool  of  their  political  business 
affairs  (for  this  is  almost  exclusively  and  nearly  always  the 
main  object  of  such  fellows) ;  and  it  is  equally  certain  that  it 
would  be  wrong  to  hold  religion  or  a  denomination  responsi- 
ble for  a  number  of  scoundrels  who  abuse  it  just  as  surely  as 
they  would  very  probably  abuse  anything  else  placed  into 
the  service  of  their  base  instincts. 

Nothing   would   suit   such   a   parliamentary   good-for- 


people  felt  in  religious  matters  and  what  endeared  the  Church 
to  them.  If  the  clerical  caste  would  not  disappear  voluntarily, 
he  would  direct  propaganda  against  the  Church  until  people 
would  be  unable  to  hide  their  disgust  when  the  word  '  Church ' 
was  mentioned.  Why,  it  was  necessary  only  to  make  Church 
history  popular.  He  would  have  films  made.  Looking  at  them 
the  German  people  would  see  how  the  clergy  had  exploited 
them,  lived  off  them.  How  they  had  sucked  the  money  out  of 
the  country.  How  they  had  worked  hand  in  glove  with  the 
Jews,  how  they  had  practiced  immoral  vice,  how  they  had 
spread  lies.  These  films  would  be  so  interesting  that  everybody 
would  itch  to  see  them.  He  would  make  the  clergy  ridiculous. 
He  would  expose  all  the  tangled  mass  of  corruption,  selfishness 
and  deceit  of  which  they  had  been  guilty.  Let  the  bourgeoisie 
tear  its  hair.  He  would  have  the  youth  and  the  people  on  his 
side.  He  would  guarantee  that  if  he  set  his  mind  to  it,  he  could 
destroy  the  Church  in  a  few  years.  The  whole  institution 
was  just  a  hollow  shell.  One  good  kick,  and  it  would  tumble 
together  in  a  heap.' 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    149 

nothing  and  sluggard  better  than  if  he  were  offered  an  op- 
portunity, at  least  later,  of  having  some  justification  for 
his  political  wirepulling. 

For,  as  soon  as  religion  or  a  denomination  is  made  re- 
sponsible for  his  personal  wickedness  and  is  attacked  for 
this  reason,  such  a  mendacious  fellow  will  clamor  aloud  and 
call  the  world  to  witness  how  justified  his  actions  were,  and 
that  the  salvation  of  religion  and  church  is  due  to  him  and 
to  his  eloquence  alone.  His  fellow  citizens,  as  stupid  as  they 
are  forgetful,  will  not  recognize  the  real  orginator  of  the  en- 
tire dispute,  merely  because  of  the  great  noise  he  makes,  or 
they  will  no  longer  remember  him,  and  so  the  scoundrel  has 
actually  achieved  his  goal. 

Such  a  sly  fox  knows  only  too  well  that  this  has  nothing 
whatsoever  to  do  with  religion,  and  he  will  therefore  laugh 
up  his  sleeve,  while  his  honest  and  less  skilled  adversary 
loses  the  game,  so  that  some  day,  despairing  of  faith  and 
loyalty  in  mankind,  he  will  withdraw  from  everything. 

But  also  in  another  direction  it  would  be  unjust  to  make 
religion  as  such  or  even  the  Church  responsible  for  the  mis- 
takes of  various  individuals.  One  should  compare  the  visi- 
ble greatness  of  the  organization  which  one  has  before  one- 
self with  the  average  faultiness  of  men  in  general,  and  one 
will  have  to  admit  that  the  proportion  between  good  and 
bad  is  here  perhaps  better  than  anywhere  else.  Even  among 
the  priests  there  are  certainly  such  to  whom  their  sacred 
office  is  only  the  instrument  for  the  gratification  of  their 
political  ambition,  and  who,  in  the  political  fight,  forget  in 
a  more  than  deplorable  manner  that  they  should  be  the 
guardians  of  a  higher  truth  and  not  the  promoters  of  lies 
and  calumnies  —  but  such  an  unworthy  individual  is  out- 
weighed, on  the  other  hand,  by  a  thousand  and  more  honest 
pastors,  most  faithfully  devoted  to  their  mission,  who  stand 
out  like  little  islands  in  a  communal  swamp  in  our  menda- 
cious and  demoralized  time. 


150  MEIN  KAMPF 

However  little  I  condemn  the  Church  as  such,  or  may,  if 
perhaps  a  demoralized  villain  in  a  priest's  frock  offends 
morality  in  an  unclean  fashion,  just  as  little  may  I  condemn 
another  among  the  many  who  befouls  and  betrays  his  na- 
tionality in  times  when  this  is  almost  a  daily  practice  any- 
how. Especially  today  one  should  not  forget  that  for  one 
such  an  Ephialtes  there  are  thousands  who  with  bleeding 
hearts  sympathize  with  the  misfortune  of  their  people  and 
who,  just  like  the  best  of  our  nation,  long  for  the  hour  when 
at  last  Heaven  will  smile  on  us  again. 

But  to  him  who  now  answers  that  the  problems  involved 
are  not  everyday  trifles  but  questions  of  essential  truth  or 
dogmatic  content,  one  can  only  give  the  necessary  reply  by 
another  question : 

If  you  believe  yourself  to  be  chosen  by  Destiny  to  an- 
nounce the  truth,  then  do  so;  but  then  have  the  courage  to 
do  so  not  by  way  of  a  political  party  —  for  this  is  also  wire- 
pulling—  but  instead  of  the  present  'worse*  place  your 
'better'  of  tomorrow! 

But  if  you  lack  the  courage  to  do  so,  or  if  you  are  uncer- 
tain about  your  'better,'  then  keep  your  hands  off;  in  any 
case  do  not  try  to  do  by  roundabout  sneaking  through  a 
political  movement  what  you  would  not  dare  to  do  with 
your  visor  open.  «<• 

Political  parties  have  nothing  to  do  with  religious  prob- 
lems, as  long  as  these  are  not  hostile  to  the  nation  and  do  not 
undermine  the  ethics  and  morality  of  their  own  race;  just 
as  religion  is  not  to  be  combined  with  the  absurdity  of  politi- 
cal parties. 

Whenever  ecclesiastical  dignitaries  make  use  of  religious 
institutions  or  doctrines  in  order  to  harm  their  nationality, 
one  should  not  follow  them  and  fight  them  with  the  same 
weapons. 

To  the  political  leader  the  religious  doctrines  and  institutions 
of  his  people  should  always  be  inviolable,  or  else  he  ought  not  to 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    151 

be  a  politician  but  should  become  a  reformer,  provided  he  is 
made  of  the  right  stuff  I 

Any  other  attitude  would  lead  to  a  catastrophe,  especially 
in  Germany. 

While  studying  the  Pan-German  movement  and  its  fight 
against  Rome,  at  that  time  and  especially  in  the  course  of 
the  following  years,  I  came  to  the  following  conclusion: 
The  party  of  that  time,  through  its  limited  understanding 
of  the  importance  of  social  problems,  lost  the  masses  of  the 
people  that  were  really  fit  to  fight;  joining  parliament  de- 
prived it  of  its  enormous  impetus  and  burdened  it  with  all 
the  weaknesses  of  that  institution ;  it  made  itself  impossible 
in  numerous  small  and  medium  circles  through  its  fight 
against  the  Catholic  Church,  thus  robbing  itself  of  innumer- 
able of  the  best  elements  which  the  nation  can  call  its 
own. 

The  practical  result  of  the  Austrian  Kulturkampf  was 
equal  to  nil. 

t  However,  one  succeeded  in  tearing  away  from  the  Church 
almost  one  hundred  thousand  members,  but  she  did  not  suf- 
fer any  particular  loss  because  of  this.  She  really  did  not 
have  to  shed  any  tears  for  the  lost  'lambs';  for  the  Church 
lost  only  what  for  a  long  time  had  not  fully  belonged  to  her 
internally.  This  was  the  difference  between  the  new  refor- 
mation and  the  old  one :  that  once  many  of  the  best  of  the 
Church  turned  away  from  it  because  of  their  inner  religious 
conviction,  while  now  only  those  went  who  were  not  only 
lukewarm,  but  for  'considerations'  of  a  political  nature. 

But  even  from  the  political  point  of  view  the  result  was 
just  as  ridiculous  and  yet  again  saddening. 

Once  more  a  political  movement,  promising  success  and 
salvation  to  the  German  nation,  had  perished,  because  it 
had  not  been  led  with  the  necessary  ruthless  sobriety,  but 
lost  itself  in  directions  that  were  bound  to  lead  to  disunion. 

For  one  thing  is  certainly  true: 


152  MEIN  KAMPF 

The  Pan-German  movement  would  probably  never  have 
made  this  mistake  if  it  had  not  possessed  too  little  under- 
standing for  the  psyche  of  the  great  masses.  If  its  leaders 
had  known  that,  in  order  to  achieve  any  success,  one  must 
not  present,  for  purely  psychological  reasons,  two  enemies 
to  the  masses,  because  this  would  lead  to  a  complete  split-up 
of  the  fighting  strength,  then  for  this  reason  alone  the  direc- 
tion of  the  blows  of  the  Pan-German  movement  would 
have  been  aimed  against  one  adversary  alone.  Nothing  is 
more  dangerous  for  a  political  party  than  to  be  led  by  those 
jacks-of-all-trades  who  want  to  do  everything  without  ever 
attaining  the  least  thing. 

No  matter  how  much  one  had  to  criticize  an  individual 
denomination,  the  political  party  must  not  for  a  moment  lose 
sight  of  the  fact  that,  according  to  all  previous  experience 
of  history,  a  purely  political  party,  in  a  similar  situation, 
has  never  succeeded  in  bringing  about  a  religious  refor- 
mation. But  one  does  not  study  history  in  order  to  for- 
get its  doctrines  when  they  are  to  be  applied  in  practice,  or 
to  believe  that  things  are  now  different  —  that  is,  that  the 
eternal  truth  of  history  is  now  no  longer  applicable;  but 
from  history  one  learns  just  the  practical  application  for  the 
present.  But  he  who  is  not  able  to  do  this  must  not  imagine 
that  he  is  a  political  'leader* ;  he  is  in  reality  a  shallow,  and 
also  frequently  a  very  vainglorious,  simpleton,  and  no 
amount  of  good-will  excuses  his  practical  inability. 

As  a  whole,  and  at  all  times,  the  efficiency  of  the  trulv 
national  leader  consists  primarily  in  preventing  the  division 
of  the  attention  of  a  people,  and  always  in  concentrating  it 
on  a  single  enemy.  The  more  uniformly  the  fighting  will  of 
a  people  is  put  into  action,  the  greater  will  be  the  magnetic 
force  of  the  movement  and  the  more  powerful  the  impetus 
of  the  blow.  It  is  part  of  the  genius  of  a  great  leader  to  make 
adversaries  of  different  fields  appear  as  always  belonging  to 
one  category  only,  because  to  weak  and  unstable  characters 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    153 

the  knowledge  that  there  are  various  enemies  will  lead  only 
too  easily  to  incipient  doubts  as  to  their  own  cause. 

As  soon  as  the  wavering  masses  find  themselves  con- 
fronting too  many  enemies,  objectivity  at  once  steps  in,  and 
the  question  is  raised  whether  actually  all  the  others  are 
wrong  and  their  own  nation  or  their  own  movement  alone 
is  right. 

Also  with  this  comes  the  first  paralysis  of  their  own 
strength.  Therefore,  a  number  of  essentially  different  in- 
ternal enemies  must  always  be  regarded  as  one  in  such  a 
way  that  in  the  opinion  of  the  mass  of  one's  own  adherents 
the  war  is  being  waged  against  one  enemy  alone.  This 
strengthens  the  belief  in  one's  own  cause  and  increases  one's 
bitterness  against  the  attacker. 

It  cost  the  former  Pan-German  movement  its  success  be- 
cause it  did  not  comprehend  this. 

Its  goal  was  rightly  viewed,  its  will  was  pure,  but  the 
way  it  chose  was  wrong.  It  was  like  a  mountain  climber 
who  fixes  the  peak  that  he  is  to  climb  well  and  correctly 
with  his  eyes  and  who  sets  out  on  his  way  with  the  greatest 
determination  and  energy,  but  who,  paying  no  attention  to 
the  way,  always  fixing  his  eye  on  the  goal,  neither  sees  nor 
examines  the  condition  of  the  ascent  —  thus  finally  failing. 

The  situation  seemed  to  be  the  reverse  with  its  great 
competitor,  the  Christian  Socialist  Party. 

The  way  on  which  it  set  out  was  intelligently  and  rightly 
chosen,  but  it  lacked  the  clear  knowledge  of  the  goal.  <• 

In  nearly  all  matters  in  which  the  Pan-German  move- 
ment failed,  the  attitude  of  the  Christian  Socialist  Party 
was  correct  and  carefully  planned. 

It  had  the  necessary  understanding  of  the  importance  of 
the  masses  and  it  secured  at  least  part  of  them  by  apparent 
stress  on  its  social  character  from  the  very  first  day.  By 
aiming  essentially  at  the  winning  of  the  small  and  lower 
middle  class  and  the  craftsmen  classes,  it  gained  a  body  of 


154  MEIN  KAMPF 

followers  that  was  as  faithful  as  it  was  enduring,  ready  for 
sacrifice.  It  avoided  all  fights  against  a  religious  institu- 
tion, thus  securing  the  support  of  such  a  mighty  organiza- 
tion as  the  Church  represents.  Thus  it  had  only  one  really 
great  chief  adversary.  It  recognized  the  value  of  large- 
scale  propaganda  and  it  was  a  virtuoso  in  influencing  the 
spiritual  instincts  of  the  great  masses  of  its  followers. 

The  fact  that,  nevertheless,  it  was  unable  to  reach  the 
desired  goal  of  Austria's  salvation  was  due  to  two  faults  of 
its  way  and  to  the  obscurity  of  the  goal  itself. 

The  new  movement's  anti-Semitism  was  built  up  on 
religious  imagination  instead  of  racial  knowledge.  The 
reason  for  making  this  mistake  was  the  same  as  that 
which  caused  the  second  error  as  well. 

If  the  Christian  Socialist  Party  was  to  save  Austria, 
then  in  the  opinion  of  its  founders  it  was  not  to  approach 
the  question  from  the  racial  principle,  as  otherwise  and 
after  a  short  time  the  general  dissolution  of  the  State 
would  set  in.  But  the  situation  in  Vienna  especially  re- 
quired, in  the  opinion  of  the  party  leaders,  the  greatest 
possible  elimination  of  all  disrupting  circumstances  and  in 
its  place  a  stress  on  all  unifying  points  of  view. 

Vienna,  at  that  time,  was  already  so  heavily  interspersed 
with  Czech  elements  that  only  the  greatest  tolerance  with 
respect  to  all  racial  problems  was  able  to  keep  them  in  a 
party  that  was  not  anti-German  at  the  start.  If  one  wanted 
to  save  Austria,  one  could  not  renounce  them.  So,  one  tried 
to  win  the  small  Czech  tradesmen,  especially  numerous  in 
Vienna,  for  the  fight  against  the  liberal  Manchester  move- 
ment, and  thereby  believed  that  one  had  found  a  slogan 
against  Judaism  on  a  religious  basis,  overshadowing  all  of 
the  racial  differences  of  old  Austria. 

It  is  obvious  that  a  fight  on  such  a  basis  gave  Jewry 
but  limited  cause  for  worry. 

If  the  worse  came  to  the  worst,  a  splash  of  baptismal 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA     155 

water  would  always  save  the  business  and  Judaism  at  the 
same  time. 

With  so  superficial  a  motivation  one  never  arrived  at  a 
serious  and  scientific  treatment  of  the  whole  problem,  and 
therefore  only  too  many  people,  who  could  not  understand 
this  kind  of  anti-Semitism,  were  repelled  altogether.  The 
attractive  force  of  the  idea  was  therefore  almost  exclusively 
tied  to  intellectually  limited  circles,  if  one  wanted  to 
arrive  at  a  real  knowledge,  by  means  of  a  purely  senti- 
mental feeling.  The  intelligentsia,  as  a  matter  of  principle, 
turned  aside.  Thus  the  matter  was  given  more  and  more 
the  appearance  as  though  the  question  involved  was  only 
the  attempt  at  a  new  conversion  of  the  Jews  or  even  the 
expression  of  a  "certain  competitive  envy.  But  with  this 
the  fight  lost  the  character  of  an  inner  and  higher  consecra- 


Traditional  anti-Semitism  had  in  Germany  always  been 
based  on  confessional  differences.  Any  other  motivation  was 
forbidden  by  the  Church ;  and  in  all  the  pogroms  of  the  Middle 
Ages,  Jews  were  able  to  escape  the  rigor  of  the  persecution  by 
accepting  baptism.  Surprisingly  few  availed  themselves  of  that 
opportunity;  and  on  the  Christian  side  Saint  Bernard  had 
pointed  out  that  the  worst  possible  way  to  attempt  conversions 
was  to  inflict  torture  and  death  on  the  recalcitrant.  Therefore 
racial  anti-Semitism  as  an  integral  part  of  a  program  of  political 
action  remains  Hitler's  'Copernican  discovery.1  For  now  there 
is  no  escape  for  the  victim  —  no  escape  even  for  his  Jewish 
grandmother,  by  reason  of  whom  he  is  a  pariah  under  the  Nazi 
laws. 

It  must  be  conceded  that  however  numerous  the  sources 
from  which  Hitler's  anti-Semitism  derives  may  be,  his  proposed 
solution  for  the  'Jewish  problem1  is  original.  Probably  there 
were  few  among  the  older  Nazi  leaders  who  accepted  it.  Goer- 
ing,  Strasser,  Roehm  and  the  rest  envisaged  certain  Jews  of 
whom  they  wished  to  rid  Germany.  Jealousy  of  Jewish  business 
rivals  or  professional  competitors ;  popular  views  of  Jewish  meth- 


156  MEIN  KAMPF 

tion,  and  thus  it  appeared  to  many,  and  not  the  worst,  as 
immoral  and  objectionable.  The  conviction  was  lacking 
that  this  was  a  question  of  vital  importance  to  the  whole  of 
mankind  and  that  on  its  solution  the  fate  of  all  non-Jewish 
people  depended. 

Through  these  half-measures  the  value  of  the  Christian 
Socialist  Party's  anti-Semitic  attitude  was  destroyed. 

It  was  a  sham  anti-Semitism  that  was  worse  than  no 
anti-Semitism  at  all;  because  one  was  thus  lulled  into 
security;  one  thought  that  one  had  caught  the  enemy  by 
the  ears,  whereas  in  reality  one  was  being  led  about  by 
one's  own  nose. 

The  Jew,  however,  after  a  short  time  had  so  accustomed 


ods  of  investing  capital;  age-old,  almost  atavistic  sentiment 
handed  down  from  the  days  when  Jews  lived  in  ghettos; 
soldierly  hatred  of  Jewish  pacifists:  —  all  these  things  played 
their  part,  but  there  exists  overwhelming  evidence  from  the 
years  1933  and  1934  to  show  that  even  inside  the  Party  the 
general  view  was  that  the  anti- Jewish  campaign  would  be  kept 
within  certain  limits.  Only  Hitler  has  refused  to  budge.  It 
was  he  who  rode  down  all  opposition  and  ordered  the  pogrom 
of  November  9.  As  originally  planned,  the  outbreak  was  to 
coincide  with  the  opening  of  the  'Eternal  Jew'  exposition  in 
Berlin,  it  being  assumed  that  the  Government  could  claim  that 
the  people'  had  been  so  'impressed'  by  the  material  displayed 
there  that  a  'spontaneous  uprising*  was  unavoidable.  The 
murder  of  Ernst  von  Rath,  a  German  diplomat  in  Paris,  by 
a  young  Jewish  refugee,  provided  a  far  better  excuse.  More 
than  70,000  Jews  were  arrested,  and  those  among  the  victim? 
who  had  money  were  ordered  to  leave  the  country  within  a 
specified  time.  Many  thousands  more  were  ejected  from  their 
homes,  made  to  walk  the  streets  all  night,  and  virtually  suffered 
to  starve.  In  Vienna  and  Innsbruck  the  spectacle  was  so  fright- 
ful that  even  hardened  Nazis  are  known  to  have  protested. 
Yet  from  the  point  of  view  of  ruthless  politics  such  steps  are 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    157 

himself  to  this  kind  of  anti-Semitism  that  he  would  cer- 
tainly have  missed  its  absence  more  than  its  presence 
hindered  him. 

As  one  had  to  make  heavy  sacrifices  to  the  State  of 
nationalities,  one  had  to  do  so  even  more  in  the  case  of 
the  representation  of  the  German  nationality  itself. 

One  could  not  be  'nationalistic'  if  one  did  not  want  to 
lose  the  ground  under  one's  feet,  even  in  Vienna.  By 
gentle  evasion  of  this  question,  one  hoped  to  save  the 
Habsburg  State,  while  in  reality  one  drove  it  towards  its 
doom  by  this  very  attitude.  But  with  this  the  movement 
lost  its  enormous  source  of  power  which  in  the  long  run 
alone  is  able  to  replenish  a  political  party  with  its  internal 
force. 

Only  through  this  the  Christian  Socialist  movement 
became  a  party  like  all  the  others. 

In  those  days  I  closely  observed  both  movements,  the 
one  out  of  the  beat  of  my  heart,  the  other  by  being  carried 
away  with  admiration  for  the  rare  man  who  even  then 
appeared  to  me  to  be  the  bitter  symbol  of  the  whole 
German  nationality  in  Austria. 

When  the  impressive  funeral  procession  of  the  dead 
mayor  left  the  Rathaus  and  turned  towards  the  Ring- 
strasse,  I,  too,  was  among  the  many  hundreds  of  thousands 
who  watched  the  tragedy.  My  feelings  told  me  with 


undeniably  clever.  For  in  view  of  the  world-wide  economic 
depression,  the  arrival  of  Jewish  refugees  in  any  number  creates 
for  the  country  harboring  them  a  variety  of  difficult  problems. 
First,  giving  them  jobs  will  be  resented  by  the  unemployed;  and 
establishing  them  in  business  or  a  profession  will  add  to  the 
pressure  of  competition.  The  total  effect  upon  the  national 
economy  may  be  negligible,  but  the  psychological  effect  may, 
owing  to  the  fact  that  discussion  of  the  refugee  problem  is 
constantly  in  the  foreground,  be  very  considerable. 


158  MEIN  KAMPF 

internal  emotion  that  the  work  of  this  man  too  was  bound 
to  be  in  vain  because  of  the  fate  that  would  lead  this  State 
to  its  inevitable  doom.  Had  Doktor  Karl  Lueger  lived  in 
Germany,  he  would  have  been  placed  in  the  ranks  of  the 
great  figures  of  our  nation ;  that  he  had  labored  in  this  impos- 
sible State  was  the  misfortune  of  his  work  as  well  as  his  own. 

When  he  died,  the  little  flames  in  the  Balkans  leaped  up 
more  greedily  from  month  to  month,  so  that  Fate  graciously 
spared  him  the  sight  of  that  which  he  still  thought  he  would 
have  been  able  to  prevent. 

I,  however,  tried  to  find  the  causes  of  the  ill  success  of 
the  one  movement  and  the  failure  of  the  second,  and  I 
came  to  the  firm  conclusion  that,  apart  from  the  impossi- 
bility of  ever  reaching  a  consolidation  of  the  State  in  old 
Austria,  the  mistakes  of  both  parties  were  the  following: 

The  Pan-German  movement  was  right  on  the  whole  in 
its  fundamental  opinion  about  a  German  rebirth,  but  it 
was  unlucky  in  the  choice  of  its  way.  It  was  nationalistic, 
but  unfortunately  not  social  enough  to  win  the  masses. 
Its  anti-Semitism  was  based  on  the  correct  realization  of 
the  importance  of  the  race  problem  and  not  on  the  im- 
possibility of  religious  ideas.  Its  fight  against  a  certain 
denomination,  however,  was  wrong  both  in  fact  and  tactics. 

The  Christian  Socialist  movement  had  an  unclear  con- 
ception as  to  the  goal  of  a  German  renaissance,  but  it 
showed  sense  and  was  lucky  in  seeking  its  way  as  a  party. 
It  understood  the  social  question's  importance,  but  it  was 
wrong  in  its  fight  against  Judaism  and  had  no  idea  of  the 
power  of  the  national  idea. 

tHad  the  Christian  Socialist  Party,  in  addition  to  its 
clever  knowledge  of  the  great  masses,  also  had  the  right 
conception  of  the  importance  of  the  race  problem  as  the 
Pan-German  movement  had  comprehended  it,  or  if  it  had 
finally  become  nationalistic,  or  if  the  Pan-German  move- 
ment had  accepted,  in  addition  to  the  correct  realization  of 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    159 

the  goal,  of  the  Jewish  question  and  the  importance  of  the 
national  idea,  also  the  practical  cleverness  of  the  Christian 
Socialist  Party,  but  especially  the  latter's  attitude  towards 
socialism,  then  this  would  have  even  then  created  that 
movement  which  in  my  opinion  could  have  intervened  suc- 
cessfully in  the  fate  of  the  German  nation. 

That  this  was  not  the  case  was  due  for  the  most  part  to 
the  nature  of  the  Austrian  State. 

As  I  did  not  see  this  conviction  of  mine  realized  in  any 
other  party,  I  could  not  make  up  my  mind  in  the  days  that 
followed  to  join  or  even  to  fight  with  one  of  the  existing 
organizations.  Even  then  I  thought  that  all  the  political 
movements  had  failed  and  were  incompetent,  that  a  na- 
tional renaissance  of  the  German  people  on  a  larger  and 
not  really  superficial  scale  was  impossible. 

My  inner  aversion  to  the  Habsburg  State  grew  more 
and  more  during  that  time. 

The  more  I  began  to  occupy  myself  especially  with  the 
question  of  foreign  politics,  the  more  my  opinion  grew  and 
the  firmer  it  took  root  that  this  State  formation  was  bound 
to  become  the  misfortune  of  the  German  nationality. 
Finally,  I  saw  more  and  more  clearly  that  the  fate  of  the 
German  nation  would  not  be  decided  from  this  place,  but 
in  the  Reich  proper.  This  was  not  only  true  of  all  general 
political  questions,  but  no  less  for  all  manifestations  of  the 
entire  cultural  life. 

Here,  too,  the  Austrian  State  also  showed  all  symptoms 
of  debility  or  at  least  of  its  unimportance  for  the  German 
nation  in  the  domain  of  purely  cultural  or  artistic  affairs. 
This  was  true  most  of  all  in  the  field  of  architecture.  The 
new  architecture  could  not  be  successful  in  Austria  for  the 
reason  that  since  the  completion  of  the  Ringstrasse  the 
commissions  were  unimportant,  at  least  as  far  as  Vienna 
was  concerned,  as  compared  with  the  increasing  plans  of 
Germany. 


160  MEIN  KAMPF 

Thus  I  began  more  and  more  to  lead  a  double  life:  reason 
and  reality  forced  me  to  go  through  a  school  in  Austria 
that  was  as  bitter  as  it  was  blissful,  but  the  heart  dwelt 
somewhere  else.-^ 

At  that  time  an  oppressive  feeling  of  dissatisfaction 
seized  me;  the  more  I  recognized  the  internal  hollowness 
of  this  State  and  the  impossibility  of  saving  it,  the  more  I 
felt  with  certainty  that  in  all  and  everything  it  only  repre- 
sented the  misfortune  of  the  German  people. 

I  was  convinced  that  this  State  was  bound  to  oppress 
and  to  handicap  every  really  great  German,  as,  on  the  other 
hand,  it  promoted  everything  non-German. 

I  detested  the  conglomerate  of  races  that  the  realm's 
capital  manifested ;  all  this  racial  mixture  of  Czechs,  Poles, 
Hungarians,  Ruthenians,  Serbs,  and  Croats,  etc.,  and 
among  them  all,  like  the  eternal  fission-fungus  [sic]  of 
mankind  —  Jews  and  more  Jews. 

To  me  the  big  city  appeared  as  the  personification  of 
incest. 

The  German  language  of  my  childhood  was  the  dialect 
that  was  spoken  also  in  Lower  Bavaria;  I  was  neither  able 
to  forget  it  nor  to  learn  the  Viennese  jargon.  The  longer  I 
stayed  in  this  city,  the  more  my  hatred  increased  against 
the  mixture  of  foreign  nations  that  began  to  eat  up  this 
site  of  old  German  culture. 

The  idea  that  this  State  could  still  be  maintained  even 
then  seemed  ridiculous  to  me. 

Austria  was  at  that  time  like  an  old  mosaic;  the  cement 
which  held  the  single  little  stones  together  had  become  old 
and  brittle;  as  long  as  the  masterpiece  is  untouched,  it  can 
still  pretend  to  be  existent,  but  as  soon  as  it  is  given  a 
blow,  it  breaks  into  a  thousand  fragments.  The  question, 
therefore,  was  only  when  the  blow  would  come. 

Since  my  heart  had  never  beaten  for  an  Austrian  mon- 
archy but  only  for  a  German  Reich,  I  could  only  look  upon 


POLITICAL  CONSIDERATIONS  IN  VIENNA    161 

the  hour  of  the  ruin  of  this  State  as  the  beginning  of  the 
salvation  of  the  German  nation. 

For  all  these  reasons  the  longing  grew  stronger  to  go 
there  where  since  my  early  youth  I  had  been  drawn  by 
secret  wishes  and  secret  love. 

I  hoped  to  make  a  name  for  myself  in  the  future  as  an 
architect,  and  thus,  be  it  in  a  narrow  or  a  wide  frame  that 
Fate  was  to  bestow  upon  me,  to  devote  my  honest  services 
to  the  nation. 

But  finally  I  wanted  to  share  the  happiness  of  being 
allowed  to  work  on  that  spot  from  which  the  most  ardent 
wish  of  my  heart  was  bound  to  be  fulfilled:  the  union  of 
my  own  beloved  country  with  the  common  fatherland, 
the  German  Reich. 

There  are  many  who  even  today  will  not  be  able  to 
understand  the  intensity  of  such  a  longing,  but  now  I 
appeal  to  those  to  whom  Fate  either  has  denied  this  hap- 
piness or  from  whom  it  has  again  cruelly  taken  it;  I  appeal 
to  all  those  who,  severed  from  the  motherland,  have  to 
fight  for  the  holy  treasure  of  their  language,  those  who, 
because  of  their  faithful  adherence  to  the  fatherland,  are 
being  persecuted  and  tortured  and  who  now  in  painful 
emotion  long  for  the  hour  that  will  allow  them  to  return 
to  the  arms  of  the  beloved  mother;  I  appeal  to  all  those 
and  I  know  they  will  understand  me. 

Only  he  who  through  his  own  experience  knows  what  it 
means  to  be  a  German  without  being  allowed  to  belong  to 
the  dear  fatherland  will  be  able  to  comprehend  the  deep 
longing  that  burns  at  all  times  in  the  hearts  of  the  children 
who  are  separated  from  the  motherland.  This  longing 
tortures  those  it  has  seized  and  denies  them  contentedness 
and  happiness  until  the  doors  of  the  father's  house  open 
and  the  common  blood  finds  peace  and  quiet  again  in  the 
common  Reich. 

But  Vienna  was  and  remained  for  me  the  hardest,  but 


162  MEIN  KAMPF 

also  the  most  thorough,  school  of  my  life.  I  had  once 
entered  this  city  when  still  half  a  boy  and  I  left  it  as  a  man 
who  had  become  quiet  and  serious.  In  that  city  I  received 
the  basis  of  a  view  of  life  in  general  and  a  political  way 
of  looking  at  things  in  particular  which  later  on  I  had  only 
to  supplement  in  single  instances,  but  which  never  again 
deserted  me.  But  it  is  only  today  that  I  am  able  to  ap- 
preciate fully  the  real  value  of  those  years  of  learning. 

This  is  the  reason  why  I  have  dealt  with  this  period  more 
fully,  as  it  gave  me  the  first  object  lessons  in  those  very 
questions  which  formed  part  of  the  fundamental  principles 
of  the  party  which,  rising  from  the  smallest  beginnings,  is 
in  the  course  of  hardly  five  years  on  the  way  to  develop 
into  a  great  mass  movement.  I  do  not  know  what  my 
attitude  towards  Judaism,  Social  Democracy,  or  better 
Marxism,  social  problems,  etc.,  would  be  today  if  the 
basic  stock  of  personal  opinions  had  not  been  formed  at 
so  early  a  time  under  the  pressure  of  fate  and  of  my  own 
learning. 

For,  though  the  fatherland's  misfortune  may  stimulate 
thousands  upon  thousands  of  people  to  thinking  about  the 
internal  causes  of  this  collapse,  this  can  never  lead  to  that 
thoroughness  and  deeper  insight  which  is  opened  to  him 
who  only  after  years  of  struggle  becomes  master  of  his  fate. 


CHAPTER  IV 
MUNICH 


IN  THE  spring  of  1912  I  came  to  Munich  for  good, 
t  The  town  itself  was  as  familiar  to  me  as  if  I  had  lived 
inside  its  walls  for  years.   The  reason  for  this  was  that 
my  studies,  step  by  step,  directed  me  towards  this  metro- 
polis of  German  art.   One  has  not  only  not  seen  Germany 
if  one  does  not  know  Munich  —  no,  above  all  else,  one 
does  not  know  German  art  if  one  has  not  seen  Munich. 

At  any  rate,  this  period  before  the  War  was  the  happiest 
and  most  satisfying  time  of  my  life.  Although  my  income 
was  still  very  meager,  I  did  not  live  in  order  to  be  able  to 
paint,  but  I  painted  in  order  to  secure  the  possibility  of 
my  existence,  or  rather  in  order  in  this  way  to  permit  my- 
self further  study.  I  harbored  the  conviction  that,  never- 
theless and  finally,  I  would  reach  the  goal  that  I  had  set 
before  myself.  And  this  alone  made  me  bear  all  other  little 
troubles  of  my  daily  life  easily  and  indifferently. 

But  to  this  was  added  the  inner  love  that  seized  me, 
almost  from  the  first  hour  of  my  stay,  for  this  town  more 
than  any  other  place  known  to  me.<-  A  German  town! 
What  a  difference  as  compared  with  Vienna!  It  made  me 
sick  only  to  think  back  to  this  racial  Babylon.  What  is 
more,  the  dialect  here  was  much  closer  to  me,  and  especially 
the  contact  with  the  Lower  Bavarians  reminded  me  of  the 


164  MEIN  KAMPF 

days  of  my  youth.  There  must  have  been  thousands  of 
things  that  were,  that  became,  dear  to  me.  But  most  of  all 
I  was  attracted  by  the  amazing  union  of  inherent  strength 
and  delicate,  artistic  atmosphere,  this  unique  line  from  the 
Hofbrauhaus  to  the  Odeon,  from  the  Oktoberfest  to  the 
Pinakothek,  etc.  That  today  I  feel  more  attached  to  this 
town  than  to  any  other  place  in  the  world  is  probably  ex- 
plained by  the  fact  that  it  is  inseparably  connected  with 
the  development  of  my  own  life,  and  will  remain  so;  but 
that  I  even  then  attained  the  happiness  of  a  really  inner 
contentedness  was  attributable  only  to  the  charm  that  this 
beautiful  residence  of  the  Wittelsbachs  exercises  on  every 
human  being  who  is  blessed  not  only  with  calculating  rea- 
son but  also  with  appreciative  feeling, 
f  Apart  from  my  professional  work,  what  attracted  me 
most  was  again  the  study  of  current  political  events,  among 
them  especially  those  of  foreign  politics.  I  arrived  at  the 
latter  by  way  of  the  German  coalition  policy,  which  I  had 
regarded  as  both  wrong  and  erroneous  ever  since  my  time 
in  Austria.  However,  when  I  was  still  in  Vienna,  the  full 
extent  of  this  self-deception  of  the  Reich  had  not  yet  be- 
come fully  clear  to  me.  In  those  days  I  was  inclined  to 
assume  (or  perhaps  I  only  tried  to  tell  myself  this  as  an 
excuse)  that  possibly  Berlin  already  knew  how  weak  and 
unreliable  the  ally  would  be  in  reality,  but  that  for  more  or 
less  mysterious  reasons  they  were  withholding  this  know- 
ledge, in  order  to  support  the  coalition  politics  which 
Bismarck  himself  once  had  founded,  for  a  sudden  break 
was  not  desirable  for  fear  one  might  arouse  the  foreign 
countries  which  were  on  the  lookout,  and  alarm  the  phi- 
listines  at  home. 

However,  contact  with  the  people  themselves  especially 
very  soon  made  me  realize  to  my  great  horror  that  this 
belief  was  wrong.  To  my  astonishment  I  ascertained  that 
~ven  in  well-informed  circles  everywhere  one  had  not  the 


MUNICH  165 

slightest  idea  of  the  internal  structure  of  the  Habsburg 
monarchy.  The  people  especially  were  ensnared  with  the 
delusion  that  one  could  look  upon  the  ally  as  a  serious 
power  that  in  the  hour  of  distress  would  certainly  be  up 
to  the  mark.  The  masses  still  considered  the  monarchy 
as  a  '  German '  State  and  believed  that  one  could  count  on 
this.  The  opinion  was  prevalent  that  its  force  might  be 
measured  by  millions,  as  perhaps  in  Germany  itself,  and 
completely  forgot  that,  in  the  first  place,  Austria  had  long 
since  ceased  to  be  a  German  State-entity;  that,  in  the 
second  place,  the  internal  conditions  of  this  realm  were 
constantly  pressing  towards  dissolution. 

I  had  known  this  State  formation  better  than  these  so- 
called  official  'diplomats,'  who,  nearly  blind  as  always, 
were  swaying  towards  disaster;  because  the  sentiments  of 
the  people  were  only  and  always  the  outflow  of  that  which 
was  poured  into  public  opinion  from  above.  But  up  above 
one  worshiped  this  'ally'  like  the  golden  calf.  Perhaps  one 
hoped  to  replace  the  sincerity  which  was  lacking  by  ami- 
ability. In  this  one  always  accepted  words  instead  of  true 
values. 

It  was  already  in  Vienna  that  I  was  seized  with  fury 
when  I  looked  at  the  difference  between  the  speeches  of  the 
official  statesmen  and  the  contents  of  the  Viennese  press 
that  was  so  apparent  from  time  to  time.  Nevertheless, 
Vienna  was  still  a  German  city,  at  least  by  appearance. 
But  how  different  things  were  when,  leaving  Vienna  or 
rather  German- Austria  behind,  one  came  into  the  Slavic 
provinces  of  the  realm !  One  only  had  to  pick  up  the  news- 
papers published  in  Prague  if  one  wanted  to  know  how  the 
sublime  jugglery  of  the  Triple  Alliance  was  judged  there. 
Nothing  was  left  for  this  'statesmanlike*  masterpiece  but 
cruel  taunts  and  sneers.  With  absolute  peace  reigning,  and 
the  two  emperors  exchanging  kisses  of  friendship,  no  secret 
was  made  of  the  opinion  that  this  alliance  would  collapse 


166  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  very  day  an  attempt  was  made  to  lead  it  out  of  the 
glamor  of  the  Nibelungen  ideal  into  practical  reality. 

How  excited  one  got  a  few  years  later  when,  as  the  hour 
finally  had  come  in  which  the  alliances  were  to  prove 
themselves,  Italy  jumped  out  of  the  Triple  Alliance  and  let 
its  two  allies  go  their  own  way,  and  she  herself  finally  be- 
came an  enemy  in  the  end!  Only  those  who  were  not 
stricken  with  diplomatic  blindness  could  not  understand 
that  people  had  even  dared  to  believe  for  a  single  minute 
in  the  possibility  of  such  a  miracle,  namely,  that  Italy 
would  fight  hand  in  hand  with  Austria.  Even  in  Austria 
things  did  not  differ  by  a  hair's  breadth.  <*• 

In  Austria,  the  only  bearers  of  the  idea  of  the  alliance 
were  the  Habsburgs  and  the  Germans.  The  Habsburgs 
out  of  calculation  and  compulsion,  the  Germans  out  of  good 
faith  and  political  —  stupidity.  Out  of  good  faith  because 
they  thought  that  through  the  Triple  Alliance  they  rendered 
a  good  service  to  the  German  Reich,  that  they  helped  to 
strengthen  and  to  protect  it:  out  of  political  stupidity, 
however,  because  neither  was  the  first  opinion  right,  but, 
on  the  contrary,  they  helped  thus  to  shackle  the  Reich  to 
a  State  carcass  that  was  bound  to  pull  them  both  into  an 
abyss,  but  above  all  because  through  this  alliance  they 
themselves  fell  more  and  more  to  de-Germanization.  For 
by  the  alliance  with  the  Reich  the  Habsburgs  were,  and 
unfortunately  could  be,  sure  against  an  interference  from 
this  side;  they  were  able  to  carry  out  more  easily  and  with 
less  risk  their  internal  policy  of  the  slow  removal  of  Ger- 
manism. Not  only  that  with  the  notorious  'objectivity' 
one  no  longer  had  to  fear  any  objection  on  the  part  of  the 
Reich's  government,  but  by  pointing  at  the  alliance  one 
was  able  to  silence  the  German-Austrian  voices  that  might 
be  raised,  from  the  German  side,  against  Slavization  in  too 
infamous  a  fashion. 

Furthermore,  what  was  the  German  in  Austria  to  do  if 


MUNICH  167 

the  Germans  in  the  Reich  proper  expressed  their  esteem 
and  confidence  in  the  Habsburg  regime?  Was  he  to  offer 
resistance,  so  that  in  the  entire  German  public  opinion  he 
would  be  branded  a  traitor  towards  his  own  nationality? 
He  who  for  centuries  had  made  the  most  unheard-of  sacri- 
fices for  his  nationality! 

But  what  was  the  value  of  this  alliance,  once  the  German 
nationality  had  been  rooted  out  of  the  Habsburg  monarchy? 
Did  not  the  value  of  the  Triple  Alliance  for  Germany 
really  depend  on  the  preservation  of  the  German  superiority 
in  Austria?  Or  did  one  really  believe  that  one  could  still 
live  in  an  alliance  with  a  Slavic  Habsburg  realm? 

The  attitude  of  official  German  diplomacy,  but  also  that 
of  the  entire  public  opinion,  towards  the  Austrian  internal 
problem  of  nationalities  was  no  longer  stupid,  no,  it  was 
absolutely  insane.  They  trusted  in  an  alliance,  adjusted 
the  safety  of  a  people  of  seventy  million  to  it  —  and 
watched  the  partner  systematically  and  relentlessly  destroy 
the  only  foundation  of  this  alliance  from  year  to  year.  One 
day  a  '  treaty '  with  the  Viennese  diplomacy  would  remain, 
but  the  allied  assistance  of  a  realm  would  be  lost. 

This  had  been  the  case  with  Italy  from  the  very  begin- 
ning. 

If  one  had  studied  history  a  little  more  clearly  in  Ger- 
many, and  if  one  had  applied  a  little  racial  psychology,  one 
would  not  have  believed  for  even  one  hour  that  the  Quirinal 
in  Rome  and  the  Hofburg  in  Vienna  would  ever  stand  side 
by  side  in  a  common  battle  front.  Italy  would  rather  have 
become  a  volcano  before  any  government  could  have  dared 
to  place  even  one  single  Italian  on  the  battlefield  of  the  so 
fanatically  hated  Habsburg  State,  except  as  an  enemy. 
In  Vienna  I  saw  the  passionate  contempt  and  the  bottom- 
less hatred  flare  up  more  than  once  with  which  the  Italian 
was  'devoted1  to  the  Austrian  State.  The  damage  that  the 
House  of  Habsburg  had  done  to  Italian  liberty  and  in- 


168  MEIN  KAMPF 

dependence  for  centuries  was  too  great  to  have  been  for- 
gotten, even  if  the  will  to  do  so  had  been  present.  But  it 
was  not  at  all  present;  neither  among  the  people  nor  with 
the  Italian  government.  For  Italy,  therefore,  there  existed 
only  two  possibilities  for  living  together  with  Austria; 
either  alliance  or  war. 

By  choosing  the  first,  one  was  able  quietly  to  prepare  for 
the  second. 

The  German  policy  of  alliance  was  as  absurd  as  it  was 
dangerous,  especially  since  Austria's  relation  to  Russia 
was  drifting  more  and  more  towards  a  bellicose  settle- 
ment. 

It  was  a  classical  case  in  which  the  lack  of  any  great  and 
correct  line  of  thought  was  lacking. 

Why,  then,  did  one  form  an  alliance  at  all?  Certainly 
only  in  order  to  be  able  to  guard  the  future  of  the  Reich 
better  than  Germany,  standing  alone,  would  have  been 
able  to  do.  But  the  future  of  the  Reich  was  nothing  but 
the  question  of  guarding  the  German  people's  possibility 
of  existence. 

Therefore,  the  question  could  only  be  formulated  thus: 
Along  what  lines  should  the  life  of  the  German  nation 
develop  in  the  near  future,  and  how  can  one  give  this  de- 
velopment the  necessary  foundations  and  the  required 
security,  within  the  frame  of  the  general  European  rela- 
tions of  power? 

When  considering  clearly  the  suppositions  for  German 
statesmanship's  activity  in  foreign  politics,  one  necessarily 
came  to  the  following  conclusion : 

Germany  has  an  annual  increase  in  population  of  almost 
900,000  souls.  The  difficulty  of  feeding  this  army  of  new 
citizens  would  become  greater  with  every  year,  and  was 
bound  some  day  to  end  in  a  catastrophe,  provided  ways 
and  means  were  not  found  to  avert  this  impending  danger 
of  hunger-pauperization  in  time. 


MUNICH  169 

•jThere  were  four  ways  in  which  to  avoid  such  a  terrible 

future: 

(i)  One  could,  following  the  French  example,  arti- 
ficially restrict  the  increase  of  births  and  thus  avoid  over- 
population. 

Nature  herself,  in  times  of  great  distress  or  bad  climatic 
conditions,  or  where  the  yields  of  the  soil  are  poor,  steps 
in  by  restricting  the  population  of  certain  countries  or 
races;  this,  however,  is  a  method  that  is  as  wise  as  it  is 
ruthless.  She  does  not  restrict  the  procreative  faculty  as 
such,  but  the  conservation  of  the  propagated,  by  subjecting 
them  to  such  severe  trials  and  deprivations  that  all  less 
strong  and  healthy  are  forced  to  return  to  the  bosom  of  the 
eternally  Unknown.  What  she  allows  to  endure  beyond 
the  inclemency  of  existence  is  tested  in  a  thousand  ways, 
hard  and  well  suited  to  continue  to  procreate,  so  that  the 

This  is  one  of  the  most  important  and  frequently  misunder- 
stood passages  in  the  book.  Oddly  enough  it  has  been  looked 
upon  as  substantiating  the  'healthy  outlook'  of  the  Third 
Reich.  It  is  true,  of  course,  the  chronic  artificial  limitation  of 
the  population  increase  leads  to  highly  deplorable  social  con- 
sequences: the  age  structure  of  the  nation  may  change,  so  that 
the  burden  of  age  is  abnormally  heavy;  normal  economic 
markets,  dependent  upon  the  birth  of  children  and  the  supply- 
ing of  things  children  need,  may  dry  up;  and  the  inner  structure 
of  the  family  may  be  adversely  affected.  Hitler's  argument  is, 
however,  derived  from  the  racialistic  materialists  who,  in  the 
balmy  days  before  the  World  War,  predicted  that  the  German 
population  structure  guaranteed  success  in  the  coming  conflict. 
Their  statement  that  the  survival  of  the  fittest  assures  that  the 
begetters  of  new  generations  will  be  stronger  and  therefore  more 
martial  is  an  un verifiable  assumption;  and  the  view  that  nature 
is  an  infallible  selector  can  easily  be  tested  by  the  history  of 
savage  races  now  under  observation. 

More  significant,  however,  is  the  view  that  a  people  can  hold 


170  MEIN  KAMPF 

thoroughgoing  selection  may  start  again  from  the  beginning. 
Thus,  by  acting  brutally  against  the  individual  and  calling 
him  back  to  herself  the  moment  he  is  not  equal  to  weather 
the  storms  of  life,  she  conserves  the  strength  of  the  race 
and  species  itself  and  even  spurs  it  towards  the  highest 
achievements. 

Her  diminishing  of  the  number  is  a  strengthening  of  the 
individual,  thus  finally  a  strengthening  of  the  species. 

But  it  is  different  if  man  decides  to  carry  out  the  re- 
striction of  his  numbers.  He  is  not  cut  out  of  the  same 
wood  as  Nature,  but  is  'human.1  He  knows  better  than 
this  cruel  Queen  of  all  Wisdom.  He  does  not  restrict  the 
continued  existence  of  the  individual,  but  rather  propaga- 
tion itself.  This  seems  to  him,  who  always  sees  only  him- 
self and  never  the  race,  more  human  and  more  justified 
than  the  reverse.  Unfortunately,  the  consequences  are  also 
now  the  reverse: 

While  Nature,  by  giving  free  rein  to  propagation  but 

its  place  in  the  world  only  if  it  produces  sufficient  excess  popula- 
tion to  assure  victory  in  wars  of  conquest.  There  is  hardly 
another  statement  which  has  so  profoundly  disturbed  com- 
fortable visions  of  the  terrestial  future.  For  many  years  it  has 
underlain  prophecies  concerning  the  eventual  war  between 
'races';  and  it  has  now  for  some  time  been  a  factor  in  the  re- 
armament of  Europe.  All  the  dictatorships  —  Russia,  Italy, 
and  Germany  —  refer  to  their  reservoirs  of  man-power  as 
a  warning  to  the  weak  and  the  small.  In  no  other  case,  how- 
ever, has  the  campaign  to  increase  the  population  because 
soldiers  are  needed  been  so  dramatic  as  in  Get  many.  The  most 
eloquent  summary  of  results  to  date  is  Hitler's  Reichstag 
address  of  February,  1.938.  He  contended  that  there  had  been 
a  notable  increase  in  the  number  of  children  born.  But  when 
the  figures  advanced  are  set  against  the  population  curve,  it 
becomes  exceedingly  doubtful  whether  the  birth-rate  per 
thousand  married  women  is  higher  than  it  was  previously. 


MUNICH  171 

subjecting  the  conservation  of  life  to  the  severest  trials, 
and  by  choosing,  from  a  surplus  number  of  individuals, 
those  who  are  most  worthy  of  living,  thus  preserving  them 
alone  and  now  making  them  the  bearers  of  the  preservation 
of  the  species,  man  restricts  propagation,  but  on  the  other 
hand  he  makes  efforts  to  keep  alive,  at  any  price,  every 
human  being  once  it  is  born.  This  correction  of  the  divine 
will  seems  to  him  to  be  as  wise  as  it  is  human,  and  he  is  glad 
that  he  has  outwitted  Nature  once  more  in  such  a  matter, 
and  that  he  even  has  given  proof  of  her  shortcomings. 
But,  of  course,  the  Lord's  dear  little  monkey  does  not  at 
all  like  to  see  or  to  hear  that  in  reality,  although  the  number 
has  certainly  been  restricted,  the  value  of  the  individual 
has  been  diminished. 

Because,  once  propagation  as  such  has  been  limited  and 
the  number  of  births  reduced,  the  natural  struggle  for 
existence,  that  allows  only  the  very  strongest  and  healthiest 
to  survive,  is  replaced  by  the  natural  urge  to  'save'  at  any 
price  also  the  weakest  and  even  sickest,  thus  planting  the 
germ  for  a  succession  that  is  bound  to  become  more  and 
more  miserable  the  longer  this  derision  of  Nature  and  of 
her  will  is  continued. 

But  the  result  will  be  that  one  day  existence  in  this 
world  will  be  denied  such  a  people;  because  man  may 
certainly  defy  the  eternal  law  of  the  will  to  continue,  but 
nevertheless  revenge  will  come,  sooner  or  later.  A  stronger 
generation  will  drive  out  the  weaklings,  because  in  its  ulti- 
mate form  the  urge  to  live  will  again  and  again  break  the 
ridiculous  fetters  of  a  so-called  *  humanity'  of  the  indi- 
vidual, so  that  its  place  will  be  taken  by  the  'humanity'  of 
Nature  which  destroys  weakness  in  order  to  give  its  place 
to  strength. 

He  who,  therefore,  would  secure  the  German  people's 
existence  by  way  of  a  self-restriction  of  its  increase  robs  it 
of  its  future. 


172  .  MEIN  KAMPF 

(2)  A  second  way  would  be  the  one  that  is  being  sug- 
gested and  eulogized  more  and  more  frequently  today; 
domestic  colonization.  This  is  a  suggestion  which  is  well 
intended  by  as  many  as  it  is  generally  badly  understood 
by  most,  so  that  it  causes  the  greatest  imaginable  damage. 

The  productivity  of  the  soil  can  undoubtedly  be  in- 
creased to  a  certain  limit.  But  of  course  only  to  a  certain 
limit,  and  not  continuously  without  end.  Therefore,  one 
could  be  able  to  balance  the  increase  of  the  German  people 
by  the  increased  yield  of  our  soil  for  some  time,  without 
having  to  think  immediately  of  hunger.  But  this  is  con- 
fronted by  the  fact  that,  generally,  the  demands  upon  life 
increase  faster  than  the  number  of  the  population.  Men's 
demands  with  regard  to  food  and  clothes  increase  from 
year  to  year,  and  even  now  they  are  no  longer  in  proportion 

When  Hitler  wrote  these  passages,  they  meant  more  than 
they  do  now.  Prior  to  the  War,  Germany  had  depended  to  a 
considerable  extent  upon  the  exchange  of  manufactured  goods 
for  foodstuffs.  Afterward,  instructed  by  the  blockade  and 
handicapped  by  a  lack  of  foreign  exchange,  she  began  to 
encourage  more  intensive  farming.  The  results  were  a  steady 
rise  in  crop  production,  aided  by  rigidly  controlled  markets. 
As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  government  was  able  to  take  grain 
from  Russia  and  resell  it  at  a  profit  through  Amsterdam.  The 
argument  now  arose  as  to  whether  the  attempt  to  supply 
sufficient  grain  ought  not  to  be  abandoned  in  favor  of  more 
specialized  farming  —  the  production  of  poultry,  eggs,  milk. 
This  could  be  realized  if  the  eastern  section  of  the  country  were 
broken  up  into  small  farms.  Advocates  of  such  resettlement 
program,  modest  beginnings  in  carrying  out  which  had  been 
made,  insisted  that  it  would  also  stop  the  overcrowding  of  cities 
and  place  a  cordon  of  dependable  men  along  the  Polish  border. 
In  an  official  statement  issued  during  March,  1930,  the  Nazis 
also  expressed  their  approval  of  the  idea,  and  some  of  their 
fading  spokesmen  promised  to  carry  it  out  efficiently  if  they 


MUNICH  173 

ro  the  needs  of  our  forefathers  of  about  a  hundred  years 
ago.  It  is,  therefore,  erroneous  to  believe  that  each  increase 
in  production  creates  the  presupposition  for  an  increase  of 
the  population:  no;  this  is  true  only  to  a  certain  degree,  for 
at  least  part  of  the  surplus  yield  of  the  soil  is  used  to  satisfy 
the  increased  demands  of  men.  But  even  with  greatest 
economy  on  the  one  hand,  and  with  the  utmost  industry 
on  the  other,  here,  also,  though  postponed  for  some  time,  a 
limit  will  become  apparent  one  day,  prescribed  by  the  soil 
itself.  Famine  will  return  from  time  to  time  in  periods  of 
poor  harvests,  etc.  This  will  occur  more  and  more  often 
with  the  increasing  number  of  the  population,  and  finally 
will  fail  to  appear  only  at  such  rare  times  when  years  of 
plenty  will  have  filled  the  granaries.  But  finally  the  time 
comes  when  it  will  no  longer  be  possible  to  satisfy  the  needs, 
and  famine  will  have  become  the  eternal  companion  of 
such  a  people.  Now  Nature  has  to  help  again  and  to  choose 
among  those  she  has  selected  to  live,  or  man  will  again  help 
himself;  that  means,  he  turns  to  artificial  restriction  with 
all  the  grave  consequences  for  race  and  species  alluded 
to. 

Now,  one  may  object  that  this  future  will  threaten 
entire  mankind  in  this  way  or  the  other,  and  that  thus  the 
individual  peoples  will  not  be  able  to  escape  this  fate. 

At  first  sight  this  is  certainly  correct.  Yet  here  one  has 
to  consider  the  following: 

Certainly  the  time  will  come,  in  consequence  of  the 
impossibility  of  adapting  the  fertility  of  the  soil  to  the 
number  of  the  increasing  population,  when  the  whole  of 

came  to  power.  But  when  the  Republic  attempted  in  1931  to 
carry  out  an  inner  colonization  program  in  dead  earnest,  it 
was  dismissed  by  President  von  Hindenburg,  now  himself  the 
owner  of  an  East  Prussian  estate.  Since  that  time,  no  real  ef- 
fort has  been  made  to  tackle  the  problem. 


174  MEIN  KAMPF 

mankind  will  be  forced  to  stop  the  increase  of  the  human 
race  and  either  let  Nature  decide  again  or  to  create  the 
necessary  balance  by  self-help,  if  possible,  but  then  in  a 
better  way  than  that  of  today.  But  this  would  hit  all  na- 
tions, whereas  today  only  those  races  are  stricken  by  such 
distress  which  no  longer  have  sufficient  energy  and  strength 
to  secure  for  themselves  the  soil  they  need  in  this  world. 
For  even  today  things  are  such  that  there  is  still  soil  on  this 
earth  in  enormous  extent  that  is  unused  and  only  awaits 
its  cultivator.  But  it  is  also  correct  that  Nature  did  not 
reserve  this  soil  in  itself  for  a  certain  nation  or  race  as  re- 
served territory  for  the  future,  but  it  is  land  and  soil  for 
that  people  which  has  the  energy  to  take  it  and  the  in- 
dustry to  cultivate  it. 

Nature  does  not  know  political  frontiers.  She  first  puts 
the  living  beings  on  this  globe  and  watches  the  free  game 
of  energies.  He  who  is  strongest  in  courage  and  industry 
receives,  as  her  favorite  child,  the  right  to  be  the  master 
of  existence. 

If  a  people  limits  itself  to  domestic  colonization,  at  a 
time  when  other  races  cling  to  greater  and  greater  surfaces 
of  the  earth's  soil,  it  will  be  forced  to  exercise  self-restriction 
even  while  other  nations  will  continue  to  increase.  For 
some  day  this  case  will  occur,  and  it  will  arrive  the  earlier 
the  smaller  the  living  space  is  that  a  people  has  at  its  dis- 
posal. As,  unfortunately  only  too  frequently,  the  best 
nations,  or,  better  still,  the  really  unique  cultured  races, 
the  pillars  of  all  human  progress,  in  their  pacifistic  blindness 
decide  to  renounce  the  acquisition  of  new  soil  in  order  to 
content  themselves  with  'domestic*  colonization,  while 
inferior  nations  know  full  well  how  to  secure  enormous 
areas  on  this  earth  for  themselves,  this  would  lead  to  the 
following  result: 

The  culturally  superior,  but  less  ruthless,  races  would 
have  to  limit,  in  consequence  of  their  limited  soil,  their 


MUNICH  175 

increase  even  at  a  time  when  the  culturally  inferior,  but 
more  brutal  and  more  natural,  people,  in  consequence  of 
their  greater  living  areas,  would  be  able  to  increase  them- 
selves without  limit.  In  other  words:  the  world  will,  there- 
fore, some  day  come  into  the  hands  of  a  mankind  that  is 
inferior  in  culture  but  superior  in  energy  and  activity. 

For  then  there  will  be  only  two  possibilities  in  the  no 
matter  how  distant  future:  either  the  world  will  be  ruled 
according  to  the  ideas  of  our  modern  democracy,  and  then 
the  stress  of  every  decision  falls  on  the  races  which  are 
stronger  in  numbers,  or  the  world  will  be  dominated  ac- 
cording to  the  law  of  the  natural  order  of  energy,  and  then 
the  people  of  brute  strength  will  be  victorious,  and  again, 
therefore,  not  the  nations  of  self-restriction. 

But  one  may  well  believe  that  this  world  will  still  be 
subject  to  the  fiercest  fights  for  the  existence  of  mankind. 
In  the  end,  only  the  urge  for  self-preservation  will  eternally 
succeed.  Under  its  pressure  so-called  'humanity,'  as  the 
expression  of  a  mixture  of  stupidity,  cowardice,  and  an 
imaginary  superior  intelligence,  will  melt  like  snow  under 
the  March  sun.  Mankind  has  grown  strong  in  eternal 
struggles  and  it  will  only  perish  through  eternal  peace. 

For  us  Germans,  however,  the  watchword  'domestic 
colonization'  is  unfortunate  for  the  reason  that  with  us  it 


The  'Programme  der  N.S.D.A.P.'  drawn  up  by  Feder,  stipu- 
lated that  the  government  would  insist  upon  a  'land  reform 
consonant  with  our  national  needs,  passage  of  a  law  to  provide 
for  the  confiscation,  without  payment,  of  ground  needed  for 
communal  purposes,  abolition  of  interest  on  land,  and  preven- 
tion of  every  kind  of  speculation  in  land.'  This  passage  created 
a  good  deal  of  bad  blood,  and  on  April  13,  1928,  Hitler  pub- 
lished an  official  correction  stating  that  since  the  Party  believed 
in  private  property,  this  clause  could  only  mean  that  land  ac- 
quired in  unlawful  or  immoral  ways  by  Jewish  speculators. 


176  MEIN  KAMPF 

at  once  enhances,  from  the  pacifistic  outlook,  the  opinion 
that  we  have  found  a  means  which  allows  us  to  'work  out* 
an  existence  in  twilight  sleep.  Once  this  doctrine  will  have 
been  taken  seriously  with  us,  it  would  mean  the  end  of 
every  effort  to  secure  in  this  world  the  place  that  is  ours. 
Once  the  average  German  gained  the  conviction  that  he 
might  secure  his  life  and  his  future  in  such  a  way,  every 
attempt  at  an  active  and  fruitful  representation  of  the 
German  necessities  of  life  would  be  eliminated.  By  such 
an  attitude  on  the  part  of  the  nation  all  really  useful  foreign 
politics,  and,  with  it,  the  future  of  the  German  people  on 
the  whole,  could  be  looked  upon  as  dead  and  buried. 

In  realizing  these  consequences  it  is  not  by  accident  that 
primarily  the  Jew  always  tries,  and  knows  how,  to  implant 
such  deadly  and  dangerous  thoughts  in  our  people.  He 
knows  his  customers  only  too  well  not  to  know  that  they 
gratefully  fall  victims  to  any  Spanish  treasure  swindler 
who  tries  to  make  them  believe  that  a  means  has  now  been 
found  to  play  a  trick  on  Nature,  to  make  the  hard  and  in- 
exorable struggle  for  life  superfluous,  so  that  in  its  place,  be 
it  by  work  or  sometimes  also  by  merely  doing  nothing, 
just  'as  the  case  may  be/  one  can  rise  to  be  master  of  the 
planets. 

It  cannot  be  emphasized  sharply  enough  that  all  German 
domestic  colonization  has  to  serve,  primarily,  only  to  abolish 
social  abuses,  but  above  all  to  withdraw  the  soil  from  general 
speculation,  and  that  it  can  never  suffice  to  secure  the  future 
of  the  nation  without  new  land  and  soil. 

If  this  is  not  done,  then,  after  a  short  time,  we  will  not 

Expropriation  of  property  owned  by  Jews  or  political  enemies 
has  been  fairly  continuous,  but  reached  new  heights  during 
1938.  In  Austria  Jewish  cultural  centers  and  Jewish  homes 
alike  were  taken  away,  without  any  legal  formality  other  than 
registration. 


MUNICH  177 

only  have  arrived  at  the  limit  of  our  soil,  but  also  at  the  end 
of  our  strength. 

But  finally,  the  following  must  also  be  established : 

The  restriction  to  a  certain  small  surface  of  soil,  as  con- 
ditioned by  domestic  colonization,  and  the  same  final  result 
which  is  achieved  by  limitation  of  propagation,  lead  to  an 
extremely  unfavorable  military  political  situation  of  the 
nation  involved. 

The  size  of  a  people's  living  area  includes  an  essential 
factor  for  the  determination  of  its  outward  security.  The 
greater  the  amount  of  room  a  people  has  at  its  disposal, 
the  greater  is  also  its  natural  protection;  because  military 
victories  over  nations  crowded  in  small  territories  have 
always  been  reached  more  quickly  and  more  easily,  espe- 
cially more  effectively  and  more  completely,  than  in  the 
cases  of  States  which  are  territorially  greater  in  size.  The 
size  of  the  State  territory,  therefore,  gives  a  certain  pro- 
tection against  frivolous  attacks,  as  success  may  be  gained 
only  after  long  and  severe  fighting  and,  therefore,  the  risk 
of  an  impertinent  surprise  attack,  except  for  quite  unusual 
reasons,  will  appear  too  great.  In  the  greatness  of  the  State 
territory,  therefore,  lies  a  reason  for  the  easier  preservation 
of  a  nation's  liberty  and  independence,  whereas,  in  the 
reverse  case,  the  smallness  of  such  a  formation  simply  in- 
vites seizure. 

The  two  first-mentioned  possibilities  for  the  creation 
of  a  balance  between  the  rising  numbers  of  population  and 
the  unchanging  territory  were  indeed  rejected  by  the  so- 
called  national  circles  of  the  Reich.  The  reasons  for  this 
attitude  were  of  course  different  from  those  mentioned 
above:  towards  birth  control  one  primarily  showed  a  nega- 
tive attitude  because  of  a  certain  moral  feeling;  domestic 
colonization  was  indignantly  rejected,  as  in  it  one  scented 
an  attack  against  the  great  landowners,  and  with  it  the 
beginning  of  a  general  fight  against  private  property  aa 


178  MEIN  KAMPF 

such.  The  form  in  which  the  latter  doctrine  of  salvation 
especially  was  recommended  justified  this  assumption. 

In  general,  however,  the  defense  against  the  great  masses 
was  not  very  skillful  and  did  not  meet  the  nucleus  of  the 
problem. 

Thus,  there  remained  but  two  ways  to  assure  work  and 
bread  to  the  increasing  number  of  people. 

(3)  One  could  either  acquire  new  soil  in  order  annually  to 
send  off  the  superfluous  millions,  and  thus  conserve  the  na- 
tion further  on  on  the  basis  of  a  self-sustainment,  or  one 
could  set  about, 

(4)  through  industry  and  trade,  to  produce  for  foreign 
consumption  and  to  live  on  the  proceeds.  <? 

That  means:  either  territorial  policy,  or  colonial  and 
trade  policy. 

Both  ways  were  examined,  investigated,  recommended, 
and  fought,  till  finally  the  second  one  was  carried  out. 

The  healthier  of  the  two,  of  course,  was  the  first. 

The  acquisition  of  new  land  and  soil  for  the  settling  of  the 
superfluous  population  has  no  end  of  advantages,  especially 
when  turning  away  from  the  present  towards  the  future. 

The  very  possibility  of  preserving  a  healthy  peasant  class 
as  the  basis  of  the  entire  nation  can  never  be  sufficiently 
valued.  To  a  great  extent  many  of  our  present  sufferings 
are  only  the  consequences  of  the  unhealthy  proportion  be- 
tween town  and  country  population.  A  solid  stock  of  small 
and  medium  peasants  was  at  all  times  the  best  protection 
against  social  ills  as  we  have  them  today.  This  is  also  the 
only  solution  that  allows  a  nation  to  find  its  daily  bread  in 
the  inner  circle  of  its  domestic  economy.  Industry  and 
trade  step  back  from  their  unwholesome  leading  positions 
into  the  general  frame  of  a  national  economy  of  balanced 
demand  and  supply.  Both  are  then  no  longer  the  basis  of  a 
nation's  subsistence,  but  a  means  to  it.  Inasmuch  as  now 
they  have  a  balance  between  their  supply  and  demand  in  all 


MUNICH  179 

fields,  they  make  the  entire  support  of  the  nation  inde- 
pendent of  foreign  countries,  thus  helping  to  secure  the  lib- 
erty of  the  State  and  the  independence  of  the  nation,  espe- 
cially in  times  of  distress. 

Obviously,  such  a  territorial  policy,  howe^ 
its  fulfillment  in  the  Cameroons,  for 
exclusively  only  in  Europe.    One  must  i 
accept  the  point  of  view  that  it  certainly/ 
intention  to  give  fifty  times  as  much 
earth  to  one  nation  as  compared  with  ai! 
political  frontiers  must  not  keep  us  awaj 
of  eternal  right.   If  this  earth  really  has  : 
to  live  in,  then  one  should  give  us  the  spa? 
for  living. 

One  will  certainly  not  like  to  do  this.  Then,  however,  the 

Here  Hitler,  following  Rosenberg  and  some  other  theorists, 
professes  disinterestedness  in  what  has  since  become  a  familiar 
Nazi  demand.  The  two  greatest  apostles  of  colonial  acquisi- 
tion in  Africa  and  elsewhere  have  been  Dr.  Heinrich  Schnee 
and  Dr.  Hjalmar  Schacht.  The  first,  who  was  a  prominent  Ger- 
man colonial  officer  before  the  War,  has  led  the  fight  to  revise 
the  Treaty  of  Versailles  to  permit  restoration  to  Germany  of 
her  former  colonies.  But  the  influence  of  Dr.  Schacht  has  been 
far  greater.  In  the  memoirs  of  President  Friedrich  Ebert,  one 
reads  that  Schacht,  then  a  little  known  official  whose  affiliation 
with  the  Democratic  Party  had  brought  him  good  Jewish  con- 
nections, had  proposed  a  scheme  whereby  Germany  was  to 
purchase  with  American  money  the  Portuguese  colony  of 
Angola.  After  1933  Schacht  intensified  his  drive,  with  the 
result  that  the  point  of  view  taken  in  Mein  Kampf  appeared  to 
have  been  revised.  It  is  probable,  however,  that  recent  agita- 
tion has  been  directed  in  the  main  towards  getting  possession  of 
Southwest  Africa  and  possibly  indirect  control  of  the  whole  of 
South  Africa,  where  a  great  deal  of  money  has  been  spent  on 
propaganda  and  where  the  party  is  relatively  strong.  For  a 


180  MEIN  KAMPF 

right  of  self-preservation  comes  into  effect;  and  what  has 
been  denied  to  kindness  will  have  to  be  taken  with  the  fist. 
Had  our  forefathers  once  made  their  decisions  dependent  on 
the  same  pacifistic  nonsense  as  that  of  our  present  time,  we 
should  own  altogether  only  one  third  of  our  present  terri- 
tory; but  in  that  case  a  German  people  would  not  have  any 
cause  for  uneasiness  in  Europe.  No.  To  their  natural  de- 
termination to  fight  for  their  own  existence  we  owe  the  two 
Ostmarks  of  the  Reich  and  with  it  that  internal  strength  of 
the  greatness  of  our  State  and  national  territory  that  alone 
enabled  us  to  exist  to  this  day. 

This  solution  would  have  been  the  right  one  for  another 
reason  also: 

Many  European  States  today  are  comparable  to  pyramids 
standing  on  their  points.  Their  European  territory  is  ridicu- 
lously small  as  compared  with  their  burden  of  colonies,  for- 
eign trade,  etc.  One  may  say,  the  point  is  in  Europe,  the 
base  in  the  whole  world ;  in  comparison  with  the  American 
Union,  which  still  has  its  bases  in  its  own  continent  and 
touches  the  remaining  part  of  the  world  only  with  its  points. 
From  this  results,  however,  the  unheard-of  internal 
strength  of  this  State  and  the  weakness  of  most  of  the 
European  colonial  powers. 

Even  England  is  no  proof  to  the  contrary,  for  because  of 
the  British  Empire,  one  only  too  easily  forgets  the  Anglo- 
Saxon  world  as  such.  England  cannot  be  compared  with 
any  other  State  in  Europe,  if  only  because  of  her  linguistic 
and  cultural  communion  with  the  American  Union. 


time  it  seemed  as  if  the  British  were  willing  to  make  a  deal,  but 
more  recently  their  ardor  has  cooled  perceptibly.  At  the  close 
of  1938  'colonial  schools'  in  Germany  were  training  young 
people  for  colonial  administration.  Some  also  feel  that  the  Ger- 
man government  would  also  not  be  averse  to  dividing  the 
French  colonies  in  Africa  with  the  Italians. 


MUNICH  181 

For  Germany,  therefore,  the  only  possibility  of  carrying 
out  a  sound  territorial  policy  was  to  be  found  in  the  acquisi- 
tion of  new  soil  in  Europe  proper.  Colonies  cannot  serve 
this  purpose,  since  they  do  not  appear  suitable  for  settle- 
ment with  Europeans  on  a  large  scale.  But  in  the  nine- 
teenth century  it  was  no  longer  possible  to  gain  such  colo- 
nial territories  in  a  peaceful  way.  Such  a  colonial  policy 
could  only  have  been  carried  out  by  means  of  a  hard  struggle 
which  would  have  been  fought  out  more  suitably,  not  for 
territories  outside  Europe,  but  rather  for  land  in  the  home 
continent  itself. 

Such  a  decision,  however,  requires  undivided  devotion. 
It  doesn't  do  to  set  out  half-heartedly  or  even  hesitatingly 
on  a  task,  the  execution  of  which  seems  possible  only  with 
the  exertion  of  the  utmost  energy.  Then  also  the  entire 

The  theory  that  Germany  can  expand  at  the  expense  of 
Russia  has  very  complex  origins  and  possibly  an  equally  com- 
plicated future.  A  large  section  of  the  Nazi  Party  has  always 
been  skeptical  of  this  idea;  and  after  1919  the  dominant  point 
of  view  among  German  nationalists  was  that  Russia  must  be 
made  an  ally,  with  whose  help  the  war  of  revenge  might  be 
waged  against  the  Western  Powers.  Even  Count  Ernst  zu 
Reventlow,  a  Nazi  but  with  a  nuance  all  his  own,  once  conferred 
with  Karl  Radek  on  the  possibility  of  such  an  alliance.  From 
time  to  time  since  1933  army  officers  in  the  two  countries  have 
discussed  the  thing  anew.  It  is  usually  thought  that  the  '  crisis ' 
which  Stalin  solved  by  ordering  the  execution  of  many  high 
officials  in  the  Soviet  government  and  army  was  the  product  of 
one  such  conversation.  It  is  therefore  not  at  all  improbable 
that  this  policy  may  triumph  ultimately  despite  all  that  has 
been  said  to  the  contrary. 

Hitler's  attitude  as  stated  here  seems  in  the  main  derivative 
from  two  sources:  first,  the  speculations  of  Alfred  Rosenberg, 
and  the  views  entertained  by  Generals  Ludendorff  and  Max 
Hoffman  on  the  Treaty  of  Brest-Li tovsk,  signed  with  Bolshevist 


181  MEIN  KAMPF 

political  authority  of  the  Reich  would  have  had  to  serve  this 
exclusive  purpose;  never  should  any  step  have  been  taken 
from  considerations  other  than  the  realization  of  this  task 
and  its  conditions.  One  had  to  make  it  clear  to  oneself  that 
this  goal  could  be  reached  only  through  fighting,  and  quietly 
to  face  the  passage  at  arms. 

All  the  alliances  should  have  been  examined  exclusively 
from  this  point  of  view  and  evaluated  according  to  their 
suitability.  If  one  wanted  land  and  soil  in  Europe,  then  by 
and  large  this  could  only  have  been  done  at  Russia's  ex- 
pense, and  then  the  new  Reich  would  again  have  to  start 
marching  along  the  road  of  the  knights  of  the  orders 
[Ordensritter:  it  is  possible  that  the  author  meant  to  use 
the  word  Ritterorden,  i.e.,  crusaders]  of  former  times  to  give, 

Russia  in  1918.  Rosenberg  was  born  in  Reval  and  educated  in 
Moscow.  Following  the  triumph  of  Lenin,  he  came  to  Germany 
and  settled  in  Munich,  where  he  met  Hitler  and  became  the 
'philosopher*  of  the  Nazi  Party.  His  obscure  racial  origins  — 
he  is  certainly  partly  of  Tartar  blood  and  may  even  have  Jewish 
ancestors  —  his  cloudy  intellectual  background,  and  his  advo- 
cacy of  a  Germanic  religion  are  familiar  topics  of  conversation 
in  all  circles  where  Germany  is  discussed.  He  once  drew  from 
Dr.  Brtlning,  speaking  before  the  Reichstag,  the  following  fa- 
mous rebuke:  'I  have  been  accused  of  a  dearth  of  affection  for 
my  country  by  a  gentleman  who,  while  I  was  fighting  for  the 
fatherland,  had  not  yet  made  up  his  mind  if  he  had  a  father- 
land.1 

It  is  quite  probable  that  Rosenberg  was  initiated  in  the  out- 
look of  the  'Black  Hundred,'  as  a  rightist  secret  organization 
which  kept  the  Czarist  police  on  their  toes  before  the  War  was 
called.  This  ultra-nationalistic  and  violently  anti-Semitic 
group  may,  indeed,  have  transmitted  to  Hitler,  through  Rosen- 
berg, the  deeper  bases  of  his  doctrine.  Careful  study  of  the  pos- 
sible sources  of  this  man's  views  is  badly  needed.  At  any  rate, 
Rosenberg:  argued  that  just  as  a  Bolshevist  Russia  had  once 


MUNICH  183 

with  the  help  of  the  German  sword,  the  soil  to  the  plow 
and  the  daily  bread  to  the  nation. 

For  such  a  policy,  however,  there  was  only  one  single  ally 
in  Europe:  England. 

With  England  alone,  one's  back  being  covered,  could  one 
begin  the  new  Germanic  invasion.  Our  right  to  do  this 
would  not  have  been  less  than  that  of  our  forefathers.  None 
of  our  pacifists  refuses  to  eat  the  bread  of  the  East,  although 
the  first  plow  was  once  called  '  sword ' ! 

To  gain  England's  favor,  no  sacrifice  should  have  been 
too  great.  Then  one  would  have  had  to  renounce  colonies 
and  sea  power,  but  to  spare  British  industry  our  compe- 
tition. 

Only  an  unconditionally  clear  attitude  could  lead  to  such 
a  goal:  renouncing  world  trade  and  colonies;  renouncing  a 

almost  seized  Germany,  so  in  turn  a  Nazi  Germany  might 
seize  Russia. 

The  coveted  territory  is  sometimes  held  to  be  Ac  Ukraine 
which  Ludendorff  and  Hoffman  set  up  as  an  independent  State 
in  1918.  This  is  a  'wheat  granary'  and  much  else  besides. 
Assuming  that  the  Ukrainians  are  dissatisfied  with  Soviet  rule, 
the  plan  would  be  to  foment  a  revolution  there,  set  up  an  inde- 
pendent State,  and  exercise  a  protectorate  over  it.  But  in  1918 
Poland  objected  bitterly  to  the  cession  of  the  Province  of  Cholm 
to  the  Ukraine,  and  without  Cholm  a  united  Ukraine  is  incon- 
ceivable. The  effect  of  a  new  step  in  this  direction  during  1938 
immediately  caused  the  Polish  government  to  foster  better 
relations  with  Russia.  Moreover,  it  is  not  dear  whether,  sup- 
posing that  all  obstacles  were  surmounted  and  an  independent 
Ukraine  were  set  up,  Germany  could  exploit  the  region  as  the 
theorists  assume.  As  for  Russia,  it  cannot  give  up  without  a 
struggle  a  region  upon  which  it  depends  for  bread  and  inside 
which  some  of  its  major  industrial  plants  are  situated. 

Accordingly  the  arguments  in  favor  of  assuming  that  the 
German  future  lies  where  Hitler  said  it  did  in  1925  must  be  set 


184  MEIN  KAMPF 

German  war  fleet.  Concentration  of  the  State's  entire 
means  of  power  in  the  land  army. 

The  result  would  certainly  have  been  a  momentary  re- 
striction, but  a  great  and  powerful  future. 

There  was  a  time  when  England  would  have  permitted 
herself  to  engage  in  discussions  such  as  these.  She  under- 
stood quite  well  that  Germany,  in  consequence  of  her  in- 
crease in  population,  had  to  look  for  some  way  out,  and 
would  find  this  either  with  England's  co-operation  in 
Europe,  or  without  England  in  the  world. 

It  was  attributable,  probably,  to  this  idea  that  at  the  turn 
of  the  century  London  herself  tried  to  approach  Germany. 
In  those  days  there  appeared  for  the  first  time  that  which 
we  have  had  an  opportunity  of  observing  in  a  really  terrify- 
ing manner  in  these  times.  One  was  unpleasantly  affected 


off  against  arguments  that  stress  the  difficulties  in  the  way. 
Equally  important  as  a  factor  is  the  growing  similarity  between 
the  Russian  and  the  German  regimes,  now  often  pointed  out. 
During  1920,  a  Social  Democratic  commission  went  from  Ger- 
many to  study  the  actual  achievements  of  the  Soviet  system. 
The  report  then  issued  by  one  of  its  members,  Wilhelm  Ditt- 
mann,  corresponds  strikingly  with  any  of  the  number  of  reports 
on  the  Nazi  system  now  being  written  by  observers  of  the  same 
school. 

Rosenberg  and  others  have  been  convinced  that  British  sup- 
port could  be  gained  for  any  serious  attempt  to  undermine  the 
Russian  system  and  therewith  stamp  out  the  Third  Interna- 
tional as  a  fomenter  of  world  revolution.  Two  reasons  for  this 
conviction  are  usually  advanced.  The  first  is  the  support  re- 
ceived by  White  Russian  revolutionists  from  English  sources, 
which  support  has  occasionally  been  deflected  to  Hitler.  The 
second  is  the  feud  long  since  in  progress  between  certain  British 
financiers  and  the  Soviet  system.  Sir  Henry  Deterding,  the  oil 
magnate,  was  themost  manifest  of  the  partisans  of  Germany ;  and 


MUNICH  185 

by  the  idea  that  now  one  would  have  to  'pull  the  chestnuts 
out  of  the  fire '  for  England ;  as  if  an  alliance  were  at  all  con- 
ceivable on  a  basis  other  than  that  of  mutual  business 
transactions!  Such  a  business  could  very  well  have  been 
done  with  England.  British  diplomacy  was  still  clever 
enough  to  know  that,  without  reciprocal  service,  no  service 
could  be  expected. 

Imagine  that  a  clever  German  foreign  policy  assumed 
Japan's  r61e  in  1904,  and  one  can  hardly  realize  what  conse- 
quences this  would  have  had  for  Germany. 

It  would  never  have  come  to  a  'World  War.' 

The  blood  of  the  year  1904  would  have  saved  the  tenfold 
amount  of  the  years  1914  till  1918. 

But  what  position  would  Germany  have  in  the  world 
today? 

To  be  sure,  the  alliance  with  Austria  was  an  absurdity  in 
that  case. 

Because  this  mummy  of  a  State  did  not  unite  with  Ger- 
many in  order  to  fight  a  war,  but  rather  for  the  conserva- 
tion of  eternal  peace,  which  then  could  have  been  cleverly 
used  for  the  slow  but  certain  extinction  of  the  German  na- 
tion in  the  monarchy. 

This  alliance,  however,  was  an  impossibility,  for  the  rea- 
son that  one  could  not  expect  official  representation  of 
national  German  interests  on  the  part  of  a  State,  so  long  as 
it  had  not  even  the  power  and  the  determination  to  make 


the  reader  can  surmise  the  existence  of  other  connections  if  he 
studies  Ourselves  and  Germany,  by  Lord  Londonderry,  Doubt- 
less a  more  important  factor  has  been  the  British  endeavor  to 
deflect  a  war  —  if  there  must  be  war  —  from  western  Europe. 
Yet,  however  willing  London  might  be  to  let  Germany  become 
entangled  in  the  East,  the  chances  have  grown  less  and  less  im- 
pressive that  any  support  for  such  a  maneuver  would  be  forth- 
coming. 


116  MEIN  KAMPF 

an  end  to  the  process  of  de-Germanization  outside  its  imme- 
diate frontier.  If  Germany  did  not  possess  enough  national 
consciousness  and  also  ruthlessness  to  tear  the  disposition 
of  the  fate  of  the  ten  million  tribesmen  from  the  hands  of 
this  impossible  Habsburg  State,  then  one  could  hardly 
expect  that  it  would  ever  offer  its  help  to  such  farseeing  and 
daring  plans.  The  attitude  of  the  old  Reich  towards  the 
Austrian  question  was  the  touchstone  for  its  attitude  in  the 
entire  nation's  fateful  struggle. 

IH  any  event,  one  should  not  have  looked  on  idly  while 
the  German  nation  was  being  pushed  back  from  year  to 
year,  as  Austria's  value  as  an  ally  was  determined  exclu- 
sively by  the  preservation  of  the  German  element. 

However,  one  did  not  go  this  way  at  all. 

One  feared  nothing  more  than  a  fight,  so  that  finally  in 
the  least  favorable  hour  one  was  nevertheless  forced  into  it. 

One  tried  to  escape  Fate  and  was  overtaken  by  it.  One 
dreamed  of  the  preservation  of  world  peace  and  landed  in 
the  World  War. 

For  this  was  the  most  important  reason  why  one  never 
considered  this  third  way  of  the  formation  of  a  German 
future.  One  knew  that  the  acquisition  of  new  soil  was  to  be 


These  passages  imply  not  only  a  critique  of  Germany's  pre- 
War  policy,  but  also  —  indeed,  primarily  —  a  negation  of  the 
views  then  prevalent  in  the  Alldeutscher  Verband  (Pan-German 
League).  Its  leaders,  Heinrich  Class  in  particular,  had  looked 
upon  a  war  with  the  western  powers  as  inevitable,  had  there- 
fore cherished  the  alliance  with  Austria,  and  had  counseled 
rapprochement  with  Russia.  After  the  War  generals  who  had 
sponsored  the  Treaty  of  Brest-Litovsk  professed  to  believe  that 
the  opposite  point  of  view  had  been  theirs  all  along;  and  to  their 
analysis  Hitler  added  his  contempt  for  the  Habsburg  State. 
It  is  still  far  too  early  to  predict  that  the  plan  sponsored  in 
Mein  Kampf  will  be  rigidly  adhered  to. 


MUNICH  187 

attained  only  in  the  East,  and  one  saw  the  necessary  fight, 
and  yet  one  wanted  peace  at  any  price;  for  the  watchword 
of  German  foreign  politics  had  long  ceased  to  be,  preserva- 
tion of  the  German  nation  by  all  means,  but  rather,  preser- 
vation of  the  world  peace  by  all  available  means.  It  is  well 
known  how  this  succeeded. 

I  will  come  back  to  this  point  in  particular. 

Thus  there  remained  still  the  fourth  possibility:  industry 
and  world  trade,  sea  power  and  colonies. 

Such  a  development,  in  the  first  instance,  could  be 
reached  more  easily  and  more  quickly.  The  settlement  of 
land  and  soil  is  a  slow  process  that  often  takes  centuries;  in 
this  its  inner  strength  may  be  sought  that  it  does  not  mean 
a  sudden  flaring-up,  but  a  slow  but  thorough  and  continued 
growing,  as  compared  with  the  industrial  development 
which  can  be  blown  up  in  the  course  of  a  few  years,  which 
then,  however,  resembles  a  soap  bubble  more  than  genuine 
strength.  Of  course,  a  fleet  can  be  built  more  quickly  than 
the  establishment  of  farms  and  settling  them  with  farmers, 
a  tough  struggle;  but  it  can  also  be  destroyed  more  quickly. 

If  Germany,  nevertheless,  chose  this  way,  then  one  had 
at  least  to  recognize  clearly  that  this  development  also 
would  some  day  end  in  fighting.  Only  children  could  be- 
lieve that,  through  friendly  and  civilized  behavior  and  con- 
tinued emphasis  on  a  friendly  disposition,  could  they 
gather  their  ' bananas'  in  a  'peaceful  competition  of  na- 
tions/ as  one  so  nicely  and  unctuously  chattered,  without 
ever  being  forced  to  take  up  arms. 

No;  if  we  went  this  way,  then  England  would  some  day 
become  our  enemy.  It  was  more  than  absurd  to  get  indig- 
nant at  this,  but  it  was  in  keeping  with  our  own  harmless- 
ness  that  England  took  the  liberty  of  some  day  meeting  our 
peaceful  activity  with  the  brutality  of  the  violent  egoist. 

We,  I  regret  to  say,  would  never  have  done  this. 

If  European  territorial  policy  could  be  carried  out  against 


188  MEIN  KAMPF 

Russia  only  with  England  as  an  ally,  then,  on  the  other 
hand,  colonial  and  world  trade  policy  was  conceivable  only 
against  England  with  the  help  of  Russia.  But  then  one 
would  here  also  have  had  to  accept  the  consequences  ruth- 
lessly—  and  above  all  one  would  have  to  drop  Austria 
immediately. 

Looked  at  from  any  direction,  this  alliance  was  genuine 
madness  as  early  as  the  turn  of  the  century. 

However,  one  did  not  at  all  think  of  forming  an  alliance 
with  Russia  against  England,  nor  with  England  against 
Russia,  for  in  both  cases  the  end  would  have  been  war,  and 
to  prevent  this  one  decided  in  favor  of  a  trade  and  indus- 
trial policy.  With  the  'peaceful  economic'  conquest  of  the 
world  one  had  a  formula  which  was  supposed  to  break  the 
neck  of  the  former  policy  of  force  once  and  for  all.  But 
sometimes  one  was  not  quite  sure  of  this,  especially  when 
from  time  to  time  quite  unintelligible  threats  came  over 
from  England;  therefore,  one  decided  to  build  a  fleet,  but 
again  not  for  attack  or  for  the  destruction  of  England,  but 
for  the  'defense'  of  the  already  mentioned  'world  peace' 
and  of  the  'peaceful  conquest'  of  the  world.  Therefore,  it 
was  kept  a  little  more  modestly  in  all  and  everything,  not 
only  in  number,  but  also  in  tonnage  of  the  single  ships  as 
well  as  in  armament,  so  that  finally  one  could  manifest 
'peaceful*  intentions  after  all. 

The  talk  of  the  'peaceful  economic  conquest'  of  the 
world  was  certainly  the  greatest  folly  that  was  ever  made 
the  leading  principle  of  a  State  policy.  This  nonsense  was 
still  further  increased  by  the  fact  that  one  did  not  shy  off 
from  calling  England  as  the  crown  witness  for  the  possibility 
of  such  an  achievement.  What  sins  the  historical  doctrine 
and  conception  of  our  professors  helped  on  thereby  can 
hardly  be  remedied,  and  it  is  only  a  striking  proof  of  the 
manner  in  which  people  today  'learn'  history  without 
understanding  or  even  grasping  it.  Precisely  in  England 


MUNICH  189 

one  should  have  realized  the  striking  refutation  of  this 
theory:  no  nation  has  more  carefully  prepared  its  economic 
conquest  with  the  sword  with  greater  brutality  and  de- 
fended it  later  on  more  ruthlessly  than  the  British.  Is  it  not 
a  characteristic  of  British  statesmanship  to  draw  economic 
conquests  from  political  force  and  at  once  to  mold  every 
economic  strengthening  into  political  power?  But  what  a 
mistake  to  believe  that  England  was  perhaps  personally  too 
*  cowardly '  to  shed  her  own  blood  in  defense  of  her  economic 
policy!  The  fact  that  the  English  people  had  no  'national 
army'  in  no  way  proved  the  contrary;  for  it  is  not  the  mili- 
tary form  of  the  defensive  power  of  the  moment  that  counts, 
but  rather  the  will  and  the  determination  to  risk  what  is  at 
hand.  England  always  possessed  the  armament  that  she 
needed.  She  always  fought  with  the  weapons  that  were 
required  for  success.  She  fought  with  mercenaries  as  long 
as  mercenaries  sufficed;  but  she  also  dipped  into  the  most 
valuable  blood  of  the  entire  nation  whenever  such  a  sacrifice 
alone  was  able  to  bring  about  victory;  but  the  determina- 
tion to  fight  and  the  tenacity  and  unflinching  conduct 
always  remained  the  same. 

In  Germany,  however,  by  way  of  school,  press,  and  comic 
papers,  one  gradually  created  an  image  of  the  character  of 
the  Englishman  and  even  more  of  his  realm  that  led  to  one 
of  the  most  catastrophic  self-deceptions;  because  everything 
was  gradually  infected  by  this  folly,  and  its  consequence 
was  an  underestimation  that  took  its  most  bitter  revenge. 
This  deception  went  so  deep  and  was  so  great  that  one  was 

This  is  doubtless  intended  for  the  consumption  of  the '  English 
cousins.'  In  1914  Germany  was  not  misled  by  a  few  cartoons 
into  thinking  that  the  English  were  gulls;  it  jumped,  by  reason 
of  the  British  government's  non-committal  statements,  to  the 
belief  that  it  would  find  England  neutral . . .  long  enough,  at 
any  rate,  to  permit  Moltke  to  defeat  France. 


190  MEIN  KAMPF 

convinced  that  one  saw  in  the  Englishman  a  merchant  as 
crafty  as  he  was  personally  incredibly  cowardly.  That  an 
empire  of  the  size  of  the  British  had  not  been  brought  to- 
gether by  sneaking  and  swindling  never  occurred  to  our 
sublime  teachers  of  professorial  wisdom.  The  few  who 
uttered  warnings  were  not  listened  to  or  were  passed  by  in 
silence.  I  well  remember  the  astonished  faces  of  my  com- 
rades, when  in  Flanders  we  faced  the  Tommies  personally. 
After  the  first  few  days  of  battle  the  conviction  dawned  on 
everyone  that  these  Scots  did  not  quite  correspond  to  those 
one  had  thought  fit  to  describe  to  us  in  comic  papers  and 
newspaper  dispatches. 

In  those  days  I  formed  my  first  reflections  about  the  use- 
fulness of  the  form  of  propaganda. 

But  this  falsification  had  one  good  side  for  those  who 
spread  it;  by  this  example,  although  it  was  wrong,  one  was 
able  to  demonstrate  the  fact  that  the  economic  conquest  of 
the  world  was  correct.  We,  too,  could  succeed  where  the 
Englishman  had  succeeded,  where  by  our  greater  honesty 
the  lack  of  that  specific  English  'perfidy'  could  be  looked 
upon  as  a  special  asset.  For  in  this  one  hoped  to  win  the 
sympathy  of  the  smaller  nations  especially  as  well  as  the 
confidence  of  the  greater  ones  more  easily. 

For  the  reason  alone  that  we  believed  all  this  quite  seri- 
ously, we  did  not  see  that  our  honesty  was  an  abomination 
in  the  eyes  of  the  others,  while  the  rest  of  the  world  consid- 
ered this  behavior  as  the  expression  of  an  especially  sly 
mendacity,  till  at  last,  to  the  greatest  astonishment  of  all, 
the  revolution  gave  a  deeper  insight  into  the  unlimited 
stupidity  of  our  'honest'  conviction. 

But  from  the  nonsense  of  this  'peaceful  economic  con- 
quest9 of  the  world  the  absurdity  of  the  Triple  Alliance  was 
at  once  clear  and  understandable.  With  what  other  State, 
then,  could  we  form  an  alliance?  Together  with  Austria  one 
could  really  not  set  out  on  a  '  martial '  conquest,  let  us  say, 


MUNICH  191 

even  in  Europe.  In  this  very  fact  lay  the  inner  weakness  of 
this  alliance  from  the  first  day.  A  Bismarck  was  allowed 
to  take  this  emergency  measure,  but  not  any  bungling  suc- 
cessor, and  least  of  all  at  a  time  when  the  essential  supposi- 
tions for  Bismarck's  alliance  had  long  ceased  to  exist;  for 
Bismarck  still  believed  he  had  a  German  State  in  Austria. 
With  the  gradual  introduction  of  general  suffrage,  however, 
this  country  had  come  down  to  the  level  of  a  parliamentar- 
ily  ruled,  un-German  medley. 

Then,  too,  the  alliance  with  Austria  was  disastrous  from 
the  point  of  view  of  a  racial  policy.  One  tolerated  the  rising 
of  a  new  Slavic  great  power  at  the  frontier  of  the  Reich 
which  sooner  or  later  would  take  an  attitude  towards  Ger- 
many quite  different  from  that  of,  for  example,  Russia. 
But  the  alliance  itself,  therefore,  was  bound  to  become 
weaker  from  year  to  year  and  more  hollow  internally  in  the 
same  proportion  in  which  the  only  supporters  of  this  idea 
lost  their  influence  in  the  monarchy  and  were  crowded  out 
of  the  most  authoritative  posts. 

At  the  turn  of  the  century  the  alliance  with  Austria  had 
entered  into  exactly  the  same  state  as  Austria's  alliance  with 
Italy. 

IJere,  too,  there  existed  only  two  possibilities:  either  one 
was  in  alliance  with  the  Habsburg  monarchy,  or  one  had  to 
protest  against  the  suppression  of  the  German  nationality. 
Once  one  starts  a  thing  like  that,  the  end  is  usually  open 
battle. 

The  value  of  the  Triple  Alliance  was  psychologically  mod- 
est, as  the  stability  of  an  alliance  increases  in  the  measure  in 
which  the  individual  contracting  parties  hope  to  attain  cer- 
tain seizable,  expansive  goals  through  it.  On  the  other 
hand,  an  alliance  will  be  the  weaker  the  more  it  restricts 
itself  to  the  preservation  of  an  existing  condition  as  such. 
Here  also,  as  everywhere,  the  strength  lies  not  in  defense  but 
in  attack. 


192  MEIN  KAMPF 

This  was  already  recognized  in  those  days  by  various 
sides,  unfortunately  not  by  those  who  were  the  so-called 
'chosen/  Especially  Ludendorff,  then  Colonel  in  the  Great 
Army  Staff,  pointed  to  these  weaknesses  in  a  memorandum 
of  the  year  1912.  But  on  the  part  of  the  'statesmen,'  of 
course,  no  value  or  importance  was  attributed  to  the  mat- 
ter; for,  on  the  whole,  clear  common  sense  becomes  appar- 
ent only  through  common  mortals,  but  is  not  necessary 
where  'diplomats'  are  concerned. 

It  was  indeed  fortunate  for  Germany  that  the  war  finally 
broke  out  in  1914  by  way  of  Austria,  so  that  the  Habsburgs 
were  forced  to  join;  had  it  been  the  other  way  round,  Ger- 
many would  have  stood  alone.  Never  would  the  Habsburg 
State  have  been  able  or  willing  to  join  in  a  fight  that  had 
been  caused  by  Germany.  What  later  one  judged  so 
severely  about  Italy  would  have  happened  even  earlier  with 
Austria;  one  would  have  remained  'neutral/  so  as  to  save 
the  State  from  a  revolution  at  the  very  beginning.  The 
Austrian  Slavic  nationalities  would  have  smashed  the  mon- 
archy in  1914  rather  than  have  helped  Germany. 

But  only  very  few  were  able  to  realize  how  great  the 
dangers  and  difficulties  were  which  the  alliance  with  the 
Danubian  monarchy  involved. 

First  of  all,  Austria  had  too  many  enemies  who  hoped  to 
inherit  from  the  decaying  State,  so  that  a  certain  hatred  was 
bound  to  break  out  against  Germany  in  the  course  of  time, 
as  one  considered  Germany  the  cause  preventing  the  decline 
of  the  monarchy,  hoped  for  and  longed  for  from  all  sides. 
One  arrived  at  the  conviction  that  Vienna  was  only  to  be 
reached  by  way  of  Berlin. 

But  with  this  Germany  lost,  secondly,  the  best  and  most 
hopeful  possibilities  for  an  alliance.  It  was  replaced  by  an 
ever-increasing  tension  with  Russia  and  even  Italy.  In 
Rome  especially  the  general  mood  was  as  pro-German  as 
it  was  anti-Austrian  in  the  heart  of  even  the  most  humble 
Italian,  sometimes  flaring  up  vividly. 


MUNICH  193 

t  Now,  since  one  had  taken  up  a  commercial  and  industrial 
policy,  there  was  no  longer  even  the  slightest  cause  for  a  war 
against  Russia.  Only  the  enemies  of  both  nations  could  still 
have  a  lively  interest  in  that.  Indeed,  it  was  primarily  only 
Jews  and  socialists  who  stirred  and  fanned  public  opinion 
towards  a  war  between  these  two  States  with  all  possible 
means. 

Finally,  and  thirdly,  this  alliance  must  needs  harbor  an 
unlimited  danger  for  Germany  for  the  reason  that  a  great 
power  that  was  hostile  to  the  Reich  of  Bismarck  could  easily 
succeed  at  any  time  in  mobilizing  quite  a  number  of  States 
against  Germany,  as  one  was  able  to  promise  enrichment 
for  each  of  them  at  the  expense  of  Austria's  ally. 

One  had  to  stir  up  the  entire  East  of  Europe  against  the 
Danubian  monarchy,  especially  Russia  and  Italy.  Never 
would  the  world  coalition  have  come  together  that  began  to 
form  itself  with  King  Edward's  initiating  activity,  had  not 
Austria,  as  Germany's  ally,  represented  a  too  tempting 
legacy.  Only  thus  did  it  become  possible  to  bring  States, 
which  otherwise  had  such  heterogeneous  wishes  and  aims, 
into  one  single  front.  With  a  general  advance  against  Ger- 
many, every  one  of  them  could  hope  to  receive  enrichment 
at  the  expense  of  Austria.  The  danger  was  increased  exceed- 
ingly by  the  fact  that  now  Turkey  also  seemed  to  be  a  silent 
partner  of  this  unfortunate  alliance. 

But  international  Jewish  world  finance  needed  this  bait 
in  order  to  carry  out  the  longed-for  plan  of  a  destruction  of 

4 International  Jewry*  as  the  instigator  of  war  was  one  of 
divers  concoctions  made  to  soothe  the  patriotic  ache.  It  is 
served  up  constantly  in  anti-Semitic  brochures  and  periodicals 
of  the  post- War  period.  A  favorite  name  was  that  of  Mr.  J.  P. 
Morgan,  who  was  endowed  with  Hebrew  blood.  The  theory 
is  a  kind  of  extreme  Rightist  counterpart  to  the  Marxist  view 
that  the  drift  to  war  is  inherent  in  the  capitalist  system. 


194  MEIN  KAMPF 

Germany,  which  did  not  yet  submit  herself  to  the  general 
super-State  control  of  finance  and  economics.  Only  with 
this  was  one  able  to  forge  a  coalition,  made  strong  and  cour- 
ageous by  the  armies  numbering  millions  now  on  the  march, 
ready  to  attack  the  horned  Siegfried  at  last. 

The  alliance  with  the  Habsburg  monarchy,  which  had 
filled  me  with  discontent  while  I  was  still  in  Austria,  now 
began  to  become  the  cause  of  long  internal  trials  which  in 
the  interval  merely  strengthened  the  opinion  I  had  previ- 
ously made.-* 

Even  in  those  days,  in  the  small  circles  which  I  fre- 
quented, I  did  not  conceal  my  opinion  that  this  unfortunate 
treaty  with  a  State  destined  to  destruction  would  also  lead 
to  a  catastrophic  collapse  of  Germany,  unless  one  knew  how 
to  break  away  in  time,  I  never  wavered  even  for  a  moment 
in  my  firm  conviction,  even  when  the  storm  of  the  World 
War  seemed  to  have  excluded  all  reasonable  thinking  and 
the  ecstasy  of  enthusiasm  had  even  seized  those  for  whom 
there  should  have  existed  the  coldest  consideration  of  real- 
ity. When  I  was  at  the  front,  whenever  these  problems  were 
discussed,  I  upheld  my  opinion  that  the  alliance  should  be 
broken,  the  sooner  the  better  for  the  German  nation,  and 
that  the  price  of  the  abandonment  of  the  Austrian  mon- 
archy would  be  no  sacrifice  at  all,  if  by  this  Germany  could 
gain  a  lessening  in  the  number  of  her  enemies;  because  it 
was  not  for  the  preservation  of  a  dissolute  dynasty  that  mil- 
lions had  put  on  the  steel  helmet,  but  for  the  salvation  of 
the  German  nation. 

A  few  times  before  the  War  it  seemed  as  though  at  least  in 
one  camp  there  had  appeared  a  slight  doubt  about  the  cor- 
rectness of  the  policy  of  alliance.  German  conservative  cir- 
cles from  time  to  time  began  to  warn  against  too  great  a 
confidence,  but  this  was  thrown  to  the  wind,  as  was  done 
with  all  that  was  sensible.  One  was  convinced  that  one  was 
on  the  right  way  to  a  'conquest'  of  the  world,  the  success  of 


MUNICH  195 

which  would  be  enormous,  the  sacrifices  for  which  would  be 
negligible. 

Once  more  the  only  choice  of  the  notorious  'un-chosen* 
was  to  watch  in  silence  why  and  how  the  'chosen'  marched 
straight  towards  destruction,  drawing  the  innocent  people 
behind  them  like  the  piper  of  Hamelin. 


The  deeper  causes  of  the  possibility  of  presenting,  and 
even  of  making  understandable,  the  absurdity  of  an 
'economic  conquest'  as  a  practical  political  way,  the 
preservation  of  'world  peace'  as  a  political  goal,  to  an 
entire  people  was  found  in  the  general  indisposition  of 
our  entire  political  thinking  as  a  whole. 

With  the  victorious  march  of  German  technical  skill  and 
industry,  with  the  rising  successes  of  German  trade,  the 
knowledge  was  gradually  lost  that  all  this  was  only  possible 
on  the  basis  of  a  strong  State.  On  the  contrary,  in  many 
circles  one  went  so  far  as  to  have  the  opinion  that  the  State 
itself  owed  its  existence  only  to  these  developments,  that 
the  State  itself  represented  only  an  economic  institution, 
that  it  was  to  be  ruled  according  to  economic  rules,  and  that 
therefore  it  depended  in  its  makeup  on  economics,  a  condi- 
tion which  was  then  looked  upon  and  praised  as  by  far  the 
soundest  and  most  natural. 

But  the  State  has  nothing  whatsoever  to  do  with  a 
definite  conception  of  economics  or  development  of  eco- 
nomics. 

The  State  is  not  an  assembly  of  commercial  parties 
in  a  certain  prescribed  space  for  the  fulfillment  of  economic 
tasks,  but  the  organization  of  a  community  of  physically 
and  mentally  equal  human  beings  for  the  better  possibility 
of  the  furtherance  of  their  species  as  well  as  for  the  fulfill- 
ment of  the  goal  of  their  existence  assigned  to  them  by 
Providence.  This,  and  nothing  else,  is  the  purpose  and  the 


196  MEIN  KAMPF 

meaning  of  a  State.  Economy  is,  therefore,  only  one  of  the 
many  auxiliary  means  necessary  for  reaching  this  goal.  But 
it  is  never  the  cause  or  the  purpose  of  a  State,  provided  the 
latter  is  not  based  from  the  start  on  a  foundation  that  is 
wrong  because  it  is  unnatural.  Only  thus  can  it  be  explained 
that  the  State,  as  such,  need  not  even  have  a  territorial 
limitation  as  its  assumption.  This  will  be  necessary  only 
with  those  nations  which  for  their  own  part  want  to  secure 
the  maintenance  of  their  fellow  men;  that  means  that  they 
are  ready  to  fight  the  struggle  for  existence  by  their  own 
work.  Nations  which  are  able  to  sneak  their  way  into  the 
rest  of  mankind  like  drones,  in  order  to  make  them  work  for 
them  under  all  kinds  of  pretexts,  are  able  to  form  States 
without  any  certain  limited  living  area  of  their  own.  This 
may  be  said  primarily  of  that  people  under  the  parasitism 
of  which,  especially  today,  the  entire  honest  mankind  has 
to  suffer:  the  Jews. 

The  Jewish  State  was  never  spatially  limited  in  itself;  it 
was  universally  unlimited  in  respect  to  space,  but  it  was 
restricted  to  the  collectivity  of  a  race.  This  is  the  reason 
why  this  people  always  forms  a  State  within  other  States. 
It  was  one  of  the  most  ingenious  tricks  that  was  ever  in- 
vented to  let  this  State  sail  under  the  flag  of  'religion/ 
thus  securing  for  it  the  tolerance  that  the  Aryan  is  always 
ready  to  grant  to  a  religious  denomination.  Actually  the 
Mosaic  religion  is  nothing  but  a  doctrine  of  the  preservation 
of  the  Jewish  race.  Therefore,  it  comprises  also  nearly  all 

The  Old  Testament  conceived  of  as  a  volume  written  to  ex- 
pound the  nationalistic  philosophy  of  the  Jewish  race  is  now  a 
favorite  item  on  the  Nazi  cultural  menu.  Rosenberg  writes  in 
Mythus  des  2on  Jahrhunderts  (Myth  of  the  2Oth  Century): 
4  As  a  book  of  religion,  the  Old  Testament  must  be  done  away 
with  once  and  for  all.  That  will  end  the  unsuccessful  attempt 
of  1500  years  to  turn  us  mentally  into  Jews,  with  the  result, 


MUNICH  197 

sociological,  political,  and  economic  fields  of  knowledge 
which  could  ever  come  into  question. 
fThe  instinct  of  preserving  the  species  is  the  first  cause 
of  the  formation  of  human  communities.  But  the  State 
is  a  folk  organism  and  not  an  economic  organization.  A 
difference  that  is  as  great  as  it  remains  incomprehensible 
to  the  so-called  'statesmen/  especially  of  today.  They 
believe,  therefore,  that  they  can  build  up  the  State  by 
economy,  whereas  in  reality  it  is  always  the  result  of  the 
activity  of  those  qualities  which  lie  in  line  with  the  will  to 
preserve  the  species  and  the  race.  But  these  are  always 
heroic  virtues  and  never  commercial  egoism,  since  the  pre- 
servation of  the  existence  of  a  species  presupposes  the 
individual's  willingness  to  sacrifice  itself.  This  is  the  very 


among  other  things,  that  we  are  at  present  materially  depend- 
ent upon  Jews.'  For  him  as  for  his  assistants  in  Nazi  educa- 
tional effort  (J.  Von  Leers,  for  instance),  the  Old  Testament  is 
nothing  but  a  collection  of  stories  about  prostitutes  and  cattle- 
traders.  By  comparison  the  Germanic  legends  and  the  German 
mystics  teach  heroism,  soldierly  conduct,  and  purity.  The 
endeavors  of  the  Christian  Churches  to  defend  the  Sacred 
Books  against  the  official  propagandists  are  reflected  in  the 
answers  to  the  Mythits  written  by  Catholic  and  Protestant 
scholars.  Of  especial  importance  are  the  Advent  sermons 
preached  by  Cardinal  Faulhaber,  of  Munich,  on  the  sub- 
ject. These  are  reprinted  in  Judaism,  Christianity  and  Ger- 
many. 

A  recent  pamphleteer  puts  this  more  succinctly:  'Our  people 
in  arms  is  no  longer  an  army.  It  has  become  the  youthful  fight- 
ing nation.  The  army,  the  police,  the  armed  organizations  of 
our  youth,  can  now  be  used  for  greater  national  purposes. 
Producers  of  foodstuffs,  members  of  the  teaching  profession, 
and  all  other  groups  in  the  community  are  now  prepared  to 
work  for  the  good  of  the  nation  as  a  whole  when  emergency 


198  MEIN  KAMPF 

meaning  of  the  poet's  words  '  Und  setzet  ihr  nicht  das  Leben 
tin,  nie  wird  Euch  das  Leben  gewonnen  sein*  [Unless  you 
stake  your  life,  never  will  life  be  won],  that  the  sacrifice  of 
the  personal  existence  is  necessary  in  order  to  guarantee  the 
preservation  of  the  species.  Thus  the  most  essential  sup- 
position for  the  formation  and  preservation  of  a  State  is 
the  presence  of  a  certain  feeling  of  homogeneity  on  the  basis 
of  the  same  entity  and  the  same  species,  as  well  as  the 
readiness  to  risk  one's  life  for  this  with  all  means,  something 
that  will  lead  nations  on  their  own  soil  to  the  creation  of 
heroic  virtues,  but  parasites  to  mendacious  hypocrisy  and 
malicious  cruelty;  that  is,  these  qualities  must  be  present 
as  the  supposition  for  their  existence  which  varies  in  the 
various  State  forms.  But  the  formation  of  a  State  will 
always  be  brought  about  by  at  least  originally  risking  these 
qualities,  whereby  in  the  struggle  of  self-preservation  those 
people  will  be  defeated  —  that  means  be  subject  to  enslave- 
ment and  thus,  sooner  or  later,  die  out  —  who,  in  the  mutual 
battle,  call  the  smallest  share  of  heroic  virtues  their  own, 
or  which  are  not  adequate  to  the  mendacious  ruse  of  the 
hostile  parasite.  But  in  this  case  also  this  is  due  not  so 
much  to  a  lack  of  cleverness  as  to  a  lack  of  determination 


and  danger  arise.'  Cf.  Der  ideak  Stoat  (The  Ideal  State),  by 
Hanz  Hartmann.  Another  writes:  'A  people  which  seeks  above 
all  else  to  safeguard  its  national  existence  will  endeavor  to 
strengthen  and  increase  its  power.  A  weak  state  is  always  a 
temptation  to  neighboring  states  to  expand  their  possessions  at 
its  expense.  As  a  consequence  there  can  be  no  peace  in  Europe 
until  Germany  is  the  equal  in  power  and  prestige  of  the  other 
states.  Frederick  the  Great's  maxim  that  peace  is  best  guar- 
anteed in  the  shadow  of  bayonets  is  still  true  today.  A  people's 
will  to  live  and  its  military  strength  are  one  and  the  same.'  Cf . 
Deutschland,  Deutschland,  nichts  als  Deutschland  (Germany, 
Germany,  Nothing  but  Germany),  by  Walter  Wallowitz. 


MUNICH  199 

and  courage  that  tries  to  conceal  itself  under  the  cloak 
of  a  humanitarian  attitude. 

However,  how  little  the  qualities  forming  and  preserving 
a  State  are  connected  with  economy  is  shown  most  clearly 
by  the  fact  that  the  inner  strength  of  a  State  coincides 
only  in  the  very  rarest  cases  with  the  so-called  economic 
zenith,  but  that  this  usually  announces  in  so  many  examples 
the  already  approaching  decay  of  the  State.  If  one  had  to 
ascribe  the  formation  of  human  communities  first  of  all 
to  economic  forces  or  impulses,  then  the  highest  economic 
development  should  at  the  same  time  indicate  the  greatest 
strength  of  the  State,  and  not  vice  versa. 

The  belief  in  the  force  of  economy  to  form  or  preserve 
States  seems  especially  unintelligible  when  it  is  predominant 
in  a  country  which  in  each  and  every  thing  shows  clearly 
and  impressively  the  historical  reverse.  Particularly  in 
Prussia  it  is  shown  with  wonderful  acuteness  that  not 
material  qualities  but  idealistic  virtues  alone  make  possible 
the  formation  of  a  State.  Only  under  their  protection  is 
economy  able  to  flourish,  but  with  the  collapse  of  the  purely 
State-forming  abilities,  economy  also  breaks  down  again; 
an  event  that  we  are  able  to  observe  just  now  in  so  terribly 
a  saddening  manner.  Man's  material  interests  are  able  to 
thrive  best  as  long  as  they  remain  in  the  shadow  of  heroic 
virtues;  but  as  soon  as  they  try  to  enter  the  first  circle  of 
existence,  they  destroy  the  conditions  of  their  own  ex- 
istence. -*? 

Whenever  in  Germany  an  upswing  of  political  power  took 
place,  economy  also  began  to  rise;  but  thereafter,  whenever 
economy  was  made  the  sole  content  of  our  people's  life,  thus 
suffocating  the  ideal  virtues,  the  State  collapsed  again, 
and  after  a  certain  time  it  pulled  economy  down  with  it  into 
the  grave. 

But  if  one  asks  oneself  the  question  what  the  force* 
forming  or  otherwise  preserving  a  State  are  in  reality,  it 


200  MEIN  KAMPF 

can  be  summed  up  with  one  single  characterization:  the 
individual's  ability  and  willingness  to  sacrifice  himself  for 
the  community.  But  that  these  virtues  have  really  nothing 
whatsoever  to  do  with  economics  is  shown  by  the  simple 
realization  that  man  never  sacrifices  himself  for  them;  that 
means :  one  does  not  die  for  business,  but  for  ideals.  Nothing 
proved  the  Englishman's  psychological  superiority  in 
knowledge  of  the  people's  psyche  better  than  the  motivation 
with  which  he  cloaked  his  fight.  While  we  fought  for  bread, 
England  fought  for  'liberty,'  and  not  even  for  her  own,  no, 
for  that  of  the  smaller  nations.  We  laughed  at  this  impu- 
dence or  we  were  annoyed  by  it,  thus  only  proving  how 
thoughtless  and  stupid  Germany's  so-called  statesmanship 
had  become  even  before  the  War.  Not  the  slightest  idea 
was  left  concerning  the  nature  of  the  force  that  leads  men 
to  death  out  of  free  will  and  resolution. 

As  long  as  in  1914  the  German  people  was  still  able  to 
fight  for  ideals,  it  resisted;  but  as  soon  as  it  was  allowed 
to  fight  only  for  its  daily  bread,  it  preferred  to  give  up 
the  game. 

But  our  wise  'statesmen*  were  astonished  at  this  change 
of  attitude.  It  never  became  clear  to  them,  from  the  mo- 
ment a  man  fights  for  an  economic  interest  he  tries  to  avoid 
death,  as  this  would  rob  him  forever  of  the  enjoyment  of  the 
reward  of  his  fighting.  The  anxiety  for  the  rescue  of  her 
own  child  turns  even  the  most  weak  mother  into  a  heroine, 
and  only  the  fight  for  the  preservation  of  the  species  and 
the  hearth  or  the  State  that  protected  them,  drove  men  at 
all  times  towards  the  spears  of  the  enemy. 

The  following  sentence  may  be  established  as  an  eternally 
valid  truth: 

Never  was  a  State  founded  by  peaceful  economy,  but 
always  only  by  the  instincts  of  preserving  the  species,  no 
matter  whether  they  are  found  in  the  field  of  heroic  virtues 
or  sly  cunning;  the  one  results  then  in  Aryan  States  of 


MUNICH  801 

work  and  culture,  the  other  in  Jewish  colonies  of  parasites. 
But  as  soon  as  in  a  people  or  in  a  State,  economy  as  such 
begins  to  choke  these  instincts,  economy  itself  becomes  the 
enticing  cause  for  subjection  and  suppression. 

The  belief  of  pre-War  times,  that  by  a  trade  or  colonial 
policy  the  world  could  be  opened  or  even  conquered  for  the 
German  people  in  a  peaceful  way,  was  a  classical  symptom 
of  the  loss  of  the  virtues  that  really  form  and  preserve  a 
State  and  of  all  insight,  will  power,  and  active  determina- 
tion resulting  from  them;  the  result  of  this  was,  by  law  of 
nature,  the  World  War  and  its  consequences. 

For  one  who  did  not  make  deeper  researches,  however, 
this  attitude  of  the  German  nation  —  for  it  was  really 
almost  general  —  could  only  represent  an  insoluble  riddle; 
was  not  just  Germany  a  really  wonderful  example  of  a  realm 
that  had  grown  from  fundamentals  that  were  purely  politi- 
cal from  the  point  of  view  of  power?  Prussia,  the  germ 
cell  of  the  Reich,  was  created  by  resplendent  heroism  and 
not  by  financial  operations  or  commercial  affairs,  and  the 
Reich  itself  was  in  turn  only  the  most  glorious  reward  of 
political  leadership  and  military  death-defying  courage. 
How  could  just  the  German  people's  political  instincts  be- 
come so  morbid?  For  the  question  involved  here  was  not 
that  of  a  single  symptom,  but  instances  of  decay  which 
flared  up  now  in  legion  like  delusive  lights  brushing  up  and 
down  the  national  body,  or  which  like  poisonous  ulcers  ate 
into  the  nation  now  here,  now  there.  It  seemed  as  though 
a  continuous  flow  of  poison  was  driven  into  the  farthest 
blood  vessels  of  this  one-time  heroic  body  by  a  mysterious 
power,  so  as  to  lead  to  ever  more  severe  paralysis  of  sound 
reason  and  of  the  simple  instinct  of  self-preservation. 

By  letting  these  questions  pass  through  my  mind  in- 
numerable times,  conditioned  by  my  attitude  towards  the 
German  policy  of  alliance  and  economy  in  the  years  1912 
to  1914,  there  remained  more  and  more  for  the  solution  of 


202  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  riddle  that  power  that  I  had  become  acquainted  with 
previously  in  Vienna,  determined  from  quite  different 
points  of  view:  the  Marxian  doctrine  and  view  of  life  and 
its  ultimate  organizatory  effects. 

For  the  second  time  in  my  life  I  dug  into  this  doctrine 
of  destruction  —  this  time,  of  course,  no  longer  led  by  the 
influences  and  effects  of  my  daily  surroundings,  but  directed 
by  the  observation  of  general  events  of  political  life.  As  I 
had  recently  begun  to  plunge  into  the  theoretical  literature 
of  this  new  world  and  had  tried  to  make  clear  to  myself  its 
possible  effects,  I  compared  these  with  the  daily  symptoms 
and  events  of  its  effect  in  political,  cultural,  and  economic 
life. 

But  now  for  the  first  time  I  also  turned  my  attention  to 
the  attempts  at  mastering  this  world  plague. 

I  studied  Bismarck's  exemption  laws  as  to  their  intention, 
struggle,  and  success.  But  gradually  I  gained  a  truly 
granite  foundation  for  my  own  conviction,  so  that  from 
that  time  on  I  was  never  forced  to  make  a  change  in  my 
internal  attitude  towards  the  matter.  Also,  the  relation- 
ship between  Marxism  and  Judaism  was  subjected  to  a 
further  thorough  examination. 

If  formerly  in  Vienna,  Germany  had  above  all  else  ap- 
peared to  me  as  an  unshakable  colossus,  now,  however, 
anxious  doubts  sometimes  began  to  rise  in  my  mind.  With 
myself  and  in  the  small  circles  of  my  acquaintances,  I  was 
wrathful  at  German  foreign  politics,  and  also  at  what 
seemed  to  me  an  unbelievably  frivolous  manner  with  which 
one  faced  the  most  important  problem  that  confronted 
Germany  in  those  days:  Marxism.  I  really  could  not 
understand  how  one  was  able  to  stagger  blindly  towards  a 
danger  the  ultimate  effects  of  which,  corresponding  to  its 
own  intentions,  were  one  day  bound  to  be  monstrous.  In 
those  days  I  warned  those  around  me,  as  I  am  doing  today 
on  a  larger  scale,  against  the  fervent  prayer  of  all  cowardly 


MUNICH  803 

wretches:  'Nothing  can  happen  to  us!'  Was  not  Germany 
subject  to  exactly  the  same  laws  as  all  other  human 
communities? 

In  the  years  1913  and  1914,  in  various  circles,  some  of 
which  today  stand  faithfully  by  the  movement,  I  expressed 
for  the  first  time  the  conviction  that  the  question  of  the 
future  of  the  German  nation  is  the  question  of  the  destruc- 
tion of  Marxism. 

In  the  fatal  German  policy  of  alliances  I  saw  only  one 
of  the  after-effects  that  were  caused  by  the  destructive 
working  of  this  doctrine;  for  the  terrible  thing  was  just  the 
fact  that  this  poison  almost  invisibly  destroyed  all  the 
foundations  of  a  sound  conception  of  State  and  economics, 
frequently  preventing  those  who  were  attacked  by  it  even 
from  guessing  how  far  their  activity  and  intentions  already 
were  the  results  of  this  otherwise  most  decidedly  objection- 
able view  of  life. 

The  internal  decline  of  the  German  nation  had  begun 
long  before,  but,  as  so  frequently  in  life,  without  the  people 
seeing  clearly  who  the  destroyer  of  their  existence  was. 
Sometimes  one  doctored  about  with  the  disease,  but  one 
confused  the  forms  of  the  symptoms  with  the  cause.  As 
one  did  not  know,  or  did  not  want  to  know,  this,  the  fight 
against  Marxism  had  only  the  value  of  prattling  quackery 


CHAPTER  V 
THE  WORLD  WAR 


DURING  the  years  of  my  unruly  youth  nothing  had 
grieved  me  more  than  having  been  born  at  a  time 
when  temples  of  glory  were  only  erected  to  mer- 
chants or  State  officials.  The  waves  of  historical  events 
seemed  to  have  calmed  down  to  such  an  extent  that  the 
future  appeared  really  to  belong  to  the  'peaceful  compe- 
tition of  nations/  that  means  a  quiet  mutual  cheating,  ex- 
cluding forceful  measures.  The  individual  States  began 
more  and  more  to  resemble  enterprises  which  cut  the 
ground  from  under  each  other,  stole  each  other's  customers 
and  orders,  and  tried  to  cheat  each'other  by  every  means, 
setting  this  in  a  scene  which  was  as  noisy  as  it  was  harmless. 
This  development,  however,  not  only  seemed  to  endure,  but 
it  was  intended  to  transform  the  world  (with  general  ap- 
proval) into  one  big  department  store,  in  the  lobbies  of 
which  the  busts  of  the  most  cunning  profiteers  and  the  most 
harmless  administration  officials  were  to  be  stored  for  eter- 
nity. The  business  men  were  to  be  supplied  by  the  English, 
the  administration  officials  by  the  Germans;  the  Jews,  how- 
ever, would  have  to  sacrifice  themselves  to  being  propri- 
etors, because,  as  they  themselves  admitted,  they  never 
earn  anything  but  only  'pay/  and,  besides,  they  speak 
most  of  the  languages. 


THE  WORLD  WAR  205 

Why  could  one  not  have  been  born  a  hundred  years 
earlier?  For  instance,  at  the  time  of  the  Wars  of  Liberation 
when  a  man  really  was  worth  something,  even  without 
'business'?! 

1 1  was  often  filled  with  annoying  thoughts  because,  as  it 
appeared,  of  the  belated  entrance  of  my  journey  into  this 
world,  and  I  looked  upon  this  period  of  'quiet  and  order' 
that  awaited  me  as  an  unmerited  mean  trick  of  Fate.  Even 
as  a  boy  I  was  not  a  'pacifist,'  and  all  attempts  at  an  educa- 
tion in  this  direction  came  to  naught. 

The  Boer  War  appeared  to  me  like  summer  lightning. 

Every  day  I  was  on  the  lookout  for  the  newspapers;  I 
devoured  dispatches  and  reports,  and  I  was  happy  that 
1  was  being  allowed  to  witness  this  heroic  struggle,  if  only 
from  afar. 

The  Russo-Japanese  War  already  found  me  much  more 
mature  and  also  more  attentive.  At  that  time  I  had  taken 
sides  more  for  national  reasons,  and  when  settling  my 
opinions  I  had  at  once  taken  the  side  of  the  Japanese.  In 
the  defeat  of  the  Russians  I  saw  also  a  defeat  of  the  Austrian 
Slavic  nationalities. 

Many  years  since  had  passed,  and  what  then  appeared 
to  me  a  foul  and  lingering  illness  when  I  was  a  boy,  I  now 
considered  as  the  calm  before  the  storm.  Already  during 
my  Viennese  time  there  hovered  over  the  Balkans  that 
fallow  sultriness  which  usually  announces  a  hurricane,  but 
at  times  a  brighter  light  flashed  up  only  to  return  immedi- 
ately into  the  uncanny  darkness.  But  then  came  the  Bal- 
kan War,  and  with  it  the  first  gust  of  wind  swept  over  a 
Europe  which  had  grown  nervous.  The  time  that  followed, 
however,  weighed  heavily  upon  the  people  like  a  nightmare, 
brooding  like  the  feverish  heat  of  the  tropics,  so  that  in 
consequence  of  the  continued  anxiety,  the  feeling  of  the 
impending  catastrophe  finally  turned  into  longing;  might 
Heaven  at  last  let  Destiny,  no  longer  to  be  restrained,  take 


206  MEIN  KAMPF 

its  full  course!  The  first  powerful  lightning  flashed  upon 
the  earth;  the  storm  broke  out,  and  the  thunder  of  the 
heavens  mingled  with  the  roaring  of  the  batteries  of  the 
World  War.  <• 

When  the  news  of  the  murder  of  Archduke  Franz  Ferdi- 
nand reached  Munich  (I  was  in  the  house  and  heard  only 
vague  details  of  the  event),  I  was  at  first  worried  that  the 
bullets  might  perhaps  have  come  from  the  pistols  of  Ger- 
man students,  who,  because  of  their  indignation  at  the 
continued  Slavization  activities  of  the  Heir  Presumptive, 
wished  to  free  the  German  nation  from  this  internal 
enemy.  One  could  imagine  well  what  the  consequences 
would  have  been  in  that  case:  a  new  wave  of  persecutions 
which  would  now  have  been  'justified'  and  'motivated'  in 
the  face  of  the  whole  world.  When,  however,  soon  after  I 
heard  the  names  of  the  suspected  murderers,  and  read  that 
their  nationality  had  been  established  as  Serbian,  a  slight 
horror  began  to  creep  over  me  because  of  this  revenge  of 
inscrutable  Destiny. 

The  greatest  friend  of  the  Slavs  had  been  felled  by  the 
bullets  of  Slav  fanatics. 

Those  who  had  had  an  opportunity  to  observe  continu- 
ously the  relations  between  Austria  and  Serbia  during  the 
last  few  years  could  not  doubt  for  even  a  moment  that  the 
stone  had  been  set  rolling  on  a  course  that  could  no  longer 
be  checked. 

One  does  the  Viennese  government  an  injustice  when 
today  one  showers  it  with  reproaches  regarding  the  form  and 
the  contents  of  the  ultimatum  it  issued.  No  other  power  on 
earth  would  have  been  able  to  act  differently  in  a  similar 
situation  and  under  the  same  circumstances.  On  the  south- 
east bordfer  of  her  realm  Austria  had  an  inexorable  and 
mortal  enemy  who  challenged  the  monarchy  at  shorter 
and  shorter  intervals,  and  who  would  not  have  given  in  til! 
finally  the  favorable  moment  for  the  destruction  of  the 


THE  WORLD  WAR  207 

realm  had  actually  come.  One  had  reason  to  fear  that  this 
event  would  happen  not  later  than  with  the  death  of  the 
old  emperor;  but  then  perhaps  the  monarchy  would  no 
longer  be  in  a  position  to  render  any  serious  resistance. 
The  entire  State,  during  these  last  years,  was  represented 
to  such  an  extent  by  the  person  of  Franz  Joseph  that  from 
the  beginning,  the  death  of  this  aged  personification  of  the 
realm  was  looked  upon  by  the  great  masses  as  the  death  of 
the  realm  itself.  It  was  indeed  the  most  cunning  artfulness 
of  the  Slav  policy  to  create  the  impression  as  though  the 
Austrian  State  owed  its  existence  to  the  really  wonderful 
and  unique  skill  of  this  monarch;  a  flattery  which  was  the 
more  favorably  received  in  the  Hofburg  as  it  corresponded 
least  of  all  to  the  actual  merits  of  the  emperor.  One  was 
not  able  to  discover  the  sting  tkat  was  hidden  in  this  praise. 
One  did  not  see,  or  perhaps  one  did  not  want  to  see,  that  the 
more  the  monarchy  was  based  on  the  superior  ruling  skill 
of,  as  one  used  to  say,  this  'wisest  of  all  monarchs'  of  all 
times,  the  more  desperate  was  the  situation  bound  to  be- 
come when  some  day  here  too  Destiny  would  knock  at  the 
door  to  collect  its  tribute. 

Would  then  the  old  Austria  be  conceivable  without  the 
old  emperor? 

Would  not  the  tragedy,  which  once  had  met  Maria 
Theresa,  immediately  repeat  itself? 

No,  one  really  does  an  injustice  to  Viennese  government 
circles  if  they  are  reproached  with  the  fact  that  now  they 
were  driving  towards  a  war  which  perhaps  would  have  been 
avoidable  after  all.  It  was  no  longer  avoidable,  but  it  could 
have  been  postponed  for  only  one  or  two  more  years  at  the 
most.  But  this  was  the  very  curse  of  the  German  as  well  as 
of  the  Austrian  diplomacy  that  it  had  always  tried  to  post- 
pone the  unavoidable  settlement  till  at  last  it  was  forced  to 
strike  at  an  unfavorable  hour.  One  can  be  certain  that  a 
renewed  attempt  at  preserving  the  peace  would  have 


SOB  MEIN  KAMPF 

brought  on  the  war  in  spite  of  this  at  an  even  less  favorable 
time. 

No,  those  who  did  not  want  this  war  would  have  had  to 
summon  the  courage  to  assume  the  consequences.  These, 
however,  could  have  only  consisted  in  the  sacrificing  of 
Austria.  But  even  then  the  war  would  have  come,  though 
perhaps  not  in  the  form  of  a  fight  against  all,  but  in  the 
form  of  a  dismemberment  of  the  Habsburg  monarchy. 
But  there  one  would  have  had  to  decide  whether  one 
wanted  to  join  or  whether  one  wanted  to  watch,  with 
empty  hands,  Fate  take  its  course. 

It  is  just  those  who  today  curse  most  and  pronounce  the 
wisest  opinions  about  the  beginning  of  the  war,  who  helped 
most  catastrophically  to  steer  towards  war. 

For  decades  Social  Democracy  had  carried  on  the  most 

The  question  of  responsibility  for  the  War  is  still  a  moot  one, 
but  Hitler  is  not  discussing  it  here  in  the  sense  in  which  it  is 
usually  propounded.  He  is  taking  his  stand  on  the  platform  of 
Ludendorff,  Graefe,  Class  and  other  Pan-Germans  for  whom 
the  issue  was  never  whether  a  war  was  coming  or  whether  it 
could  be  avoided,  but  whether  Germany  would  choose  the 
right  moment  to  strike  and  whether  it  would  possess  the 
requisite  military  strength.  This  group  was  bitterly  antagon- 
istic to  Bethmann-Hollweg  for  having  desired  to  keep  the  peace 
and  for  having  refused  to  endorse  certain  items  proposed  for 
inclusion  in  the  military  budget  of  1913.  That  the  'people* 
were  with  them  they  have  never  doubted,  and  still  do  not 
doubt.  The  whole  blame  falls,  they  maintain,  on  Bethmann- 
Hollweg.  Accordingly  one  readies  this  interesting  conclusion: 
it  seems  impossible  to  hold  the  German  government  of  1914 
solely  responsible  for  the  declaration  of  war,  but  the  head  of  the 
German  government  of  1938  has  gone  on  record  in  this  book  as 
wishing  that  his  predecessor  had  assumed  that  responsibility. 

Hitler  has  promised  to  guarantee  that  the  next  time  there 
be  no  such  blunders.  On  November  28, 1934,  Mr.  Winston 


THE  WORLD  WAR  209 

villainous  war  propaganda  against  Russia,  but  the  Center 
Party,  for  religious  reasons,  had  made  the  Austrian  State 
most  of  all  the  center  and  turning-point  of  German  poli- 
tics. Now  one  had  to  bear  the  consequences  of  this  mad- 
ness. What  now  came  had  to  come,  and  it  was  unavoidable 
under  any  circumstances.  The  German  government's 
fault  therein  was  that,  in  order  to  preserve  peace,  it  again 
and  again  missed  the  favorable  hour  for  striking;  that  it 
got  entangled  in  the  alliance  for  the  preservation  of  world 
peace,  thus  finally  falling  victim  to  a  world  coalition  which 
opposed  the  very  preservation  of  peace  with  the  determi- 
nation of  a  world  war. 

If  at  that  time  the  Viennese  government  had  given  the 
ultimatum  another,  milder  wording,  this  would  not  have 
changed  anything  in  the  situation  except  perhaps  the  fact 
that  the  government  itself  would  have  been  swept  away  by 
the  indignation  of  the  people.  Because,  in  the  eyes  of  the 
great  masses,  the  tone  of  the  ultimatum  was  much  too  con- 


Churchill  addressed  the  House  of  Commons  on  the  subject  of 
Germany's  program  of  rearmament.  Referring  to  the  air 
force,  he  said:  'On  the  same  basis,  that  is  to  say,  both  sides  con- 
tinuing with  their  existing  program  as  at  present  arranged,  by 
the  end  of  1936  —  that  is,  one  year  farther  on,  and  two  years 
from  now  —  the  German  military  air  force  will  be  nearly 
50  per  cent  stronger,  and  in  1937  nearly  double. ...  So  much 
for  the  comparison  of  what  may  be  called  the  first  line  air  forces 
of  the  two  countries/  Replying  on  behalf  of  the  government, 
Stanley  Baldwin  said:  'I  say  there  is  no  ground  at  this  moment 
for  undue  alarm  and  much  less  for  panic.  There  is  no  imme- 
diate danger  confronting  us  or  anyone  else  in  Europe  at  this 
moment.  But  we  must  look  ahead,  and  there  is  ground  for  grave 
anxiety,  and  that  is  why  we  have  been  watching  the  situation 
for  months  past,  are  watching  it  now,  and  shall  continue  to 
watch  it.' 


S10  MEIN  KAMPF 

siderate  and  in  no  way  too  brutal  or  even  too  far-reaching. 
Those  who  today  try  to  deny  this  are  either  forgetful  empty- 
heads  or  quite  deliberately  cheats  and  liars. 

The  fight  of  the  year  1914  was  certainly  not  forced  upon 
the  masses,  good  God!  but  desired  by  the  entire  people 
itself. 

One  wanted  at  last  to  make  an  end  to  the  general  uncer- 
tainty. Only  thus  is  it  understandable  that  for  this  most 
serious  of  all  struggles  more  than  two  million  German  men 
and  boys  joined  the  flag  voluntarily,  ready  to  protect  it  with 
their  last  drop  of  blood. 


To  me  personally  those  hours  appeared  like  the  redemp- 
tion from  the  annoying  moods  of  my  youth.  Therefore  I 
am  not  ashamed  today  to  say  that,  overwhelmed  by  impas- 
sionate  enthusiasm,  I  had  fallen  on  my  knees  and  thanked 
Heaven  out  of  my  overflowing  heart  that  it  had  granted 
me  the  good  fortune  of  being  allowed  to  live  in  these  times. 

A  struggle  for  freedom  had  broken  out,  greater  than  the 
world  had  ever  seen  before;  because,  once  Fate  had  begun 
its  course,  the  conviction  began  to  dawn  on  the  great  masses 
that  this  time  the  question  involved  was  not  Serbia's  or 
Austria's  fate,  but  the  existence  or  non-existence  of  the 
German  nation. 

For  the  last  time  in  many  years,  the  German  nation  had 
become  clairvoyant  about  its  own  future.  Thus,  at  the  very 
beginning  of  the  enormous  struggle  the  intoxication  of  the 
exuberant  enthusiasm  was  mixed  with  the  necessary  serious 
undertone;  for  this  realization  alone  made  the  national  ris- 
ing become  something  greater  than  a  mere  bonfire.  But 
this  was  only  too  necessary;  even  then  one  had  no  idea 
of  the  possible  length  and  duration  of  the  struggle  now 
beginning.  One  dreamt  of  being  home  again  in  winter  to 
continue  work  in  renewed  peace. 


THE  WORLD  WAR  211 

What  man  desires,  he  hopes  and  believes.  The  over- 
whelming majority  of  the  nation  had  long  been  tired  of  the 
eternally  uncertain  state  of  things;  thus  one  could  only  too 
readily  understand  that  one  no  longer  believed  in  a  peaceful 
adjustment  of  the  Austro-Serbian  conflict,  but  hoped  for 
the  final  settlement.  I,  too,  belonged  to  these  millions. 

Hardly  had  the  news  of  the  assassination  spread  in 
Munich,  when  two  ideas  immediately  entered  my  head: 
first,  that  war  would  now  at  last  be  unavoidable,  and 
further,  that  the  Habsburg  State  would  be  forced  to  keep 
the  alliance;  for  what  I  had  always  feared  most  was  the 
possibility  that  one  day  Germany  herself,  perhaps  just  in 
consequence  of  this  alliance,  would  be  entangled  in  a  con- 
flict without  Austria  being  the  direct  cause  for  this,  but 
that  in  such  a  case  the  Austrian  State,  for  domestic  political 
reasons,  would  not  summon  the  energy  to  decide  to  stand 
by  its  ally.  The  Slav  majority  would  certainly  immediately 
have  begun  to  sabotage  such  an  intention  by  the  State 
itself,  and  would  certainly  have  preferred  to  smash  the 
entire  State  into  bits  rather  than  to  give  the  required  help 
to  the  ally.  This  danger,  however,  was  now  averted.  The 
old  State  had  to  fight  whether  it  wanted  to  or  not. 

My  own  attitude  towards  the  conflict  was  very  clear  and 
simple  to  me :  in  my  eyes  it  was  not  Austria  fighting  for  some 
Serbian  satisfaction,  but  Germany  fighting  for  her  exist- 
ence, the  German  nation  for  its  being  or  non-being,  for 
freedom  and  future.  Bismarck's  work  now  had  to  fight; 
what  the  fathers  once  had  gained  by  fighting  with  their 
heroic  blood  in  the  battles  from  Weissenburg  to  Sedan  and 
Paris,  now  young  Germany  had  to  earn  again.  If  this  fight 
would  be  carried  through  victoriously,  then  our  nation 
would  also  have  returned  to  the  circle  of ,'the  nations  which  arc 
great  in  external  power,  and  only  then  could  the  German 
Reich  prove  a  powerful  shield  of  peace  without  being  forced 
to  reduce  its  children's  daily  bread  for  the  sake  of  this  peace. 


212  MEIN  KAMPF 

As  a  boy  and  a  young  man  I  had  often  formed  the  wish 
that  at  least  once  I  might  be  allowed  to  prove  by  deeds 
that  my  national  enthusiasm  was  not  an  empty  delusion. 
Often  I  considered  it  a  sin  to  shout  'hurrah'  without  per- 
haps having  the  inner  right  to  do  so;  for  who  may  use  this 
cry  without  having  proved  himself  there  where  all  play  is 
at  an  end  and  where  the  inexorable  hand  of  the  Goddess  of 
Fate  begins  to  weigh  nations  and  men  according  to  the 
truth  and  the  durability  of  their  convictions?  Thus  my 
heart,  like  that  of  a  million  others,  was  overflowing  with 
proud  happiness  that  at  last  I  was  able  to  free  myself  from 
this  paralyzing  feeling.  So  many  times  had  I  sung  'Deutsch- 
land  uber  dies'  and  shouted  with  full  voice  'Heil,'  that  I 
considered  it  almost  a  belated  favor  that  I  was  now  allowed 
to  appear  as  a  witness  before  the  tribunal  of  the  Eternal 
Judge  in  order  to  proclaim  the  truth  and  the  sincerity  of  my 
convictions.  From  the  first  hour  I  was  certain  that  in  the 
event  of  war  (which  appeared  unavoidable  to  me),  I  would 
abandon  my  books  in  one  way  or  the  other.  But  I  knew 
just  the  same  that  my  place  would  be  there  where  my  inner 
voice  directed  me  to  go. 

I  had  left  Austria  primarily  for  political  reasons:  but 
what  was  more  natural  that  now  that  the  fight  had  begun 
that  I  had  to  act  according  to  this  conviction?  I  did  not 
want  to  fight  for  the  Habsburg  State,  but  I  was  ready  to  die 
^t  any  time  for  my  people  and  the  Reich  it  constituted. 

On  August  3  I  submitted  a  direct  petition  to  His  Majesty 
King  Ludwig  III  with  the  request  that  I  be  permitted  to 
serve  in  a  Bavarian  regiment.  The  cabinet  office  was  cer- 
tainly more  than  busy  in  those  days;  my  joy  was  the  greater 
when  on  the  following  day  I  received  the  reply  to  my  re- 
quest. My  joy  and  my  gratitude  knew  no  end  when  I  had 
opened  the  letter  with  trembling  hands  and  read  that 
my  request  had  been  granted  and  that  I  was  summoned 
to  report  to  a  Bavarian  regiment.  A  few  days  later  I  wore 


THE  WORLD  WAR  213 

the  uniform  which  I  waa  not  to  take  off  again  for  six 
years. 

Thus,  as  probably  for  every  German,  there  began  for  me 
the  most  unforgettable  and  the  greatest  period  of  my  mortal 
life.  In  the  face  of  the  events  of  this  mighty  struggle  the 
entire  past  fell  back  into  shallow  oblivion.  It  is  now  ten 
years  since  this  mighty  event  happened,  and  with  proud 
sadness  I  think  back  to  those  weeks  of  the  beginning  of  the 
heroic  fight  of  our  people  which  Fate  had  graciously  per- 
mitted me  to  share. 

f  As  if  it  were  yesterday,  one  picture  after  the  other  passes 
before  my  eyes:  I  see  myself  donning  the  uniform  in  the 
circle  of  my  dear  comrades,  turning  out  for  the  first  time, 
drilling,  etc.,  till  finally  the  day  came  when  we  marched. 

There  was  only  one  thing  that  worried  me  at  that  time, 
like  so  many  others  also:  that  was  whether  we  would  not 
arrive  at  the  front  too  late.  This  alone  disturbed  my  peace 
again  and  again.  Thus  in  every  jubilation  over  a  new 
heroic  deed  there  seemed  to  be  a  hidden  drop  of  bitterness 
as  with  every  new  victory  the  danger  of  our  being  delayed 
seemed  to  increase. 

Finally,  the  day  came  when  we  left  Munich  in  order  to 
start  fulfilling  our  duty.  Now  for  the  first  time  I  saw  the 
Rhine  as  we  were  riding  towards  the  west  along  its  quiet 
waters,  the  German  river  of  all  rivers,  in  order  to  protect  it 
against  the  greed  of  the  old  enemy.  When  through  the  deli- 
cate veil  of  the  dawn's  mist  the  mild  rays  of  the  early  sun 
set  the  Niederwalddenkmal  shimmering  before  our  eyes, 
the  'Watch  on  the  Rhine'  roared  up  to  the  morning  sky 
from  the  interminably  long  transport  train  and  I  had  a 
feeling  as  though  my  chest  would  burst. 

Then  at  last  came  a  damp,  cold  night  in  Flanders  through 
which  we  marched  silently,  and  when  the  day  began  to 
emerge  from  the  fog,  suddenly  an  iron  salute  came  whizzing 
over  our  heads  towards  us  and  with  a  sharp  report  the 


214  MEIN  KAMPF 

small  bullets  struck  between  our  rows,  whipping  up  the 
wet  earth;  but  before  the  small  cloud  had  dispersed,  out  of 
two  hundred  throats  the  first  hurrah  roared  a  welcome  to 
the  first  messenger  of  death.  But  then  it  began  to  crackle 
and  roar,  to  sing  and  howl,  and  with  feverish  eyes  each  one 
of  us  was  drawn  forward  faster  and  faster  over  turnip  fields 
and  hedges  till  suddenly  the  fight  began,  the  fight  of  man 
against  man.  But  from  the  distance  the  sounds  of  a  song 
met  our  ears,  coming  nearer  and  nearer,  passing  from  com- 
pany to  company,  and  then,  while  Death  busily  plunged  his 
hand  into  our  rows,  the  song  reached  also  us,  and  now  we 
passed  it  on : '  De utschland,  DeutscUand  uber  alles,  Uber  dttes 
inderWeltl' 

After  four  days  we  came  back.  Even  our  step  had  be- 
come different.  Boys  of  seventeen  now  resembled  men. 

The  volunteers  of  the  regiment  had  perhaps  not  yet 
learned  to  fight  properly,  but  they  knew  how  to  die  like  old 
soldiers. 

This  was  the  beginning.  <*• 

Thus  it  continued  year  after  year;  but  the  romance  of 

Hitler  here  set  the  example  for  what  would  later  prove  to  be 
a  deluge  of  war  tales.  Concerning  his  military  record,  the  fol- 
lowing facts  are  known ;  that  he  served  as  a  messenger  between 
regimental  headquarters  and  the  front;  that  he  was  a  good 
soldier  who  refused  to  the  very  end  to  join  in  criticism  of  the 
way  things  were  being  run;  that  his  temperament  made  his 
commanding  officer  doubt  the  wisdom  of  promoting  him  to 
any  sort  of  non-commissioned  rank  above  that  of  corporal,  and 
that  he  occupies  a  modest  but  honorable  place  in  the  history  of 
the  Regiment  List,  to  which  he  belonged.  The  particular  ex- 
ploit for  which  he  received  the  Iron  Cross  is  shrouded  in  secrecy, 
but  most  biographers  agree  that  there  was  no  reason  why  it 
should  not  have  been  awarded.  Hitler,  by  Rudolf  Olden,  at- 
tempts a  critical  evaluation  of  the  legend  that  had  grown  up 
round  Hitler's  war  experience. 


THE  WORLD  WAR  215 

the  battles  had  turned  into  horror.  The  enthusiasm  gradu- 
ally cooled  down  and  the  exuberant  joy  was  suffocated  by 
the  fear  of  death.  The  time  came  when  everyone  had  to 
fight  between  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  and  the  ad- 
monition of  duty.  I,  too,  was  not  spared  this  inner  struggle. 
Whenever  death  was  on  the  hunt,  an  undefinable  something 
tried  to  revolt,  tried  to  present  itself  to  the  weak  body  in 
the  form  of  reason  and  was  really  nothing  but  cowardice 
which  in  this  disguise  tried  to  ensnare  the  individual.  A 
strong  pulling  and  warning  set  in  and  only  the  last  remain- 
ing spark  of  conscience  made  the  decision.  But  the  more 
this  voice  tried  to  warn  me  to  take  heed,  the  louder  and  the 
more  urgently  it  lured,  the  sharper  was  my  resistance,  till 
finally  after  a  long  inner  struggle  my  sense  of  duty  tri- 
umphed. This  struggle  had  already  been  decided  for  me 
during  the  winter  of  1915-16.  My  will  had  finally  become 
master.  Whereas  during  the  first  days  I  was  able  to  join 
exuberantly  and  laughingly  in  the  storm,  now  I  was  quiet 
and  determined.  This  was  the  most  enduring.  Only  now 
could  Fate  set  out  for  the  last  tests  without  tearing  my 
nerves  or  my  reason  giving  out. 

The  young  volunteer  had  become  an  old  soldier. 

But  this  change  had  taken  place  in  the  entire  army.  It 
had  become  old  and  hard  through  perpetual  fighting,  and 
those  who  were  not  able  to  resist  the  storm  were  broken  by  it. 

But  only  now  could  one  judge  this  army.  Now,  after 
two  or  three  years  during  which  it  had  been  thrown  from 
one  battle  into  the  other,  constantly  fighting  against  a  force 
superior  in  number  and  weapons,  suffering  hunger  and  en- 
during deprivations,  now  was  the  time  to  prove  the  quality 
of  this  unique  army. 

Thousands  of  years  may  pass,  but  never  will  one  be 
allowed  to  talk  about  or  mention  heroism  without  remem- 
bering the  German  army  of  the  World  War.  Then,  out  of 
the  veil  of  the  past,  the  iron  front  of  the  gray  steel  helmet 


816  MEIN  KAMPF 

will  become  visible,  not  wavering  and  not  retreating,  a  mon- 
ument to  immortality.  As  long  as  Germans  live  they  will 
remember  that  these  were  the  sons  of  their  nation, 
f  At  that  time  I  was  a  soldier  and  did  not  want  to  discuss 
politics.  It  really  was  not  the  time  for  it.  I  am  still  con- 
vinced today  that  even  the  most  humble  carter  had  done 
his  fatherland  more  valuable  services  than  the  first,  let  us 
say,  'parliamentarian.'  I  never  hated  these  prattlers  more 
than  just  at  that  time,  when  every  regular  fellow  who  had 
to  say  something  shouted  it  into  the  enemy's  face,  or,  more 
appropriately,  left  his  mouth  at  home  and  silently  did  his 
duty  in  some  place.  Yes,  in  those  days  I  hated  all  these 
'politicians,1  and  if  I  had  had  anything  to  say,  a  parlia- 
mentarian spade  battalion  would  have  been  formed  at 
once;  then  they  would  have  been  able  to  babble  among 
themselves  to  their  hearts1  content  if  they  had  to,  and  they 
would  not  have  been  able  to  annoy  or  even  to  harm  the 
decent  and  honest  part  of  mankind.  ^ 

At  that  time,  therefore,  I  did  not  want  to  hear  anything 
about  politics,  but  I  could  not  help  defining  my  attitude 
towards  certain  manifestations  which  concerned,  after  all, 
the  entire  nation,  but  most  of  all  us  soldiers, 
f  There  were  two  things  which  in  those  days  annoyed  me 
and  which  I  considered  detrimental. 

Soon  after  the  news  of  the  first  victories,  a  certain  press 

Not  a  few  of  the  Reichstag  delegates  served  at  the  front; 
some  were  killed  in  action.  Most  of  the  others  were  beyond 
military  age,  and  some  of  these  served  on  difficult  and  danger- 
ous missions.  More  interesting  is  the  unrestrained  endorse- 
ment of  LudendorfFa  military  totalitarianism  —  the  absolute 
disavowal  of  political  action  in  time  of  war.  The  wicked  ones 
are  those  who  believed  that  peace  might  be  reached,  after  years 
of  destructive  warfare,  on  a  basis  of  compromise  and  who  felt 
that  Germany,  by  giving  guarantees  not  to  violate  the  integrity 
of  Belgium,  might  divide  her  foes. 


THE  WORLD  WAR  217 

began  slowly,  and  at  first  perhaps  unrecognizably  to  many, 
to  pour  drops  of  wormwood  into  the  general  enthusiasm. 
This  was  done  under  the  mask  of  a  certain  benevolence 
and  well-meaning,  even  of  a  certain  anxiety.  One  harbored 
doubts  about  too  great  an  exuberance  in  celebrating  the 
victories.  One  feared  that  in  this  form  it  was  unworthy  and 
did  not  correspond  to  the  dignity  of  such  a  great  nation. 
The  bravery  and  the  heroic  courage  of  the  German  soldier 
were  really  a  matter  of  course,  and  one  should  not  be  carried 
away  too  much  by  thoughtless  outbursts  of  joy,  especially 
for  the  sake  of  public  opinion  abroad  which  would  certainly 
be  more  impressed  by  a  quiet  and  dignified  form  of  joy  than 
by  excessive  exultation,  etc.  Finally  we  Germans  were  not 
to  forget  even  now  that  the  war  had  not  been  our  intention, 
and  that  therefore  we  should  not  be  ashamed  to  admit, 
openly  and  like  men,  that  we  were  ready  to  contribute,  at 
any  time,  our  share  towards  the  reconciliation  of  mankind. 
Therefore  it  would  not  be  wise  to  blacken  the  purity  of  the 
army's  deeds  with  too  much  shouting,  as  the  rest  of  the 
world  would  show  but  little  understanding  for  such  behav- 
ior. One  admired  nothing  more  than  the  modesty  with 
which  a  genuine  hero  —  quietly  and  silently  —  forgets  his 
deeds;  for  this  was  supposed  to  be  the  essence  of  the  whole 
affair. 

But  now,  instead  of  taking  such  a  fellow  by  his  long  ears 
and  leading  him  to,  and  pulling  him  up  on,  a  high  pole  with 
a  rope,  so  that  the  celebrating  nation  would  no  longer  be 
able  to  insult  the  aesthetic  feeling  of  this  knight  of  the  ink, 
one  actually  began  to  protest  this  'unseemly'  manner  of 
jubilating  over  victories. 

One  had  not  the  faintest  idea,  however,  that  this  enthu- 
siasm, once  it  has  been  broken,  cannot  be  reawakened  at 
will.  It  is  an  intoxication  and  it  is  best  to  keep  it  in  this 
condition.  But  how  was  one  to  endure  in  a  fight  without 
this  power,  a  fight  which  in  all  human  probability  made  the 


211  MEIN  KAMPF 

most  enormous  demands  on  the  spiritual  qualities  of  the 
nation? 

I  knew  the  psyche  of  the  great  masses  only  too  well  not 
to  know  that  one  would  not  be  able  to  stoke  the  fire  neces- 
sary to  keep  this  iron  hot  with  'aesthetic9  elation.  In  my 
eyes  one  was  mad  because  nothing  was  done  to  increase  this 
boiling  heat  of  passion;  but  I  simply  could  not  understand 
that  one  even  curtailed  that  which  fortunately  was  present. 

The  second  thing  that  annoyed  me  was  the  way  and  the 
manner  in  which  one  thought  fit  to  face  Marxism.  In  my 
eyes,  this  only  proved  that  one  really  had  not  the  slightest 
idea  of  this  pestilence.  One  seemed  to  believe,  in  all  seri- 
ousness, that  by  the  assurance  that  one  no  longer  knew 
parties,  one  thought  one  had  brought  Marxism  to  reason 
and  restraint. 

That  here  one  has  to  deal  not  with  a  party  but  with  a 
doctrine  which  must  of  necessity  lead  to  the  destruction  of 
entire  mankind,  this  one  understood  the  less  as  one  did  not 
hear  it  in  the  Jew-infested  universities,  and  as  otherwise 
only  too  many  of  our  higher  officials,  particularly,  out  of 
idiotic  conceit,  inculcated  in  them  by  education,  did  not 
think  it  worth  the  trouble  to  pick  up  a  book  and  to  learn 
something  which  did  not  belong  in  the  curriculum  of  their 
high  school.  The  most  important  changes  pass  by  these 
'heads'  without  leaving  a  trace,  and  therefore  the  State 
institutions  nearly  always  lag  behind  the  private  ones.  God 
knows  that  to  them,  most  of  all,  the  popular  proverb  ap- 
plies: 'Was  der  Bauer  nicht  kennt,  das  frisst  er  nicht9  [a 
peasant  does  not  eat  what  he  does  not  know]. 

It  was  an  unequaled  absurdity  to  identify  the  German 
worker  with  Marxism  in  the  days  of  August,  1914.  In 
those  hours  the  German  worker  had  disentangled  himself 
from  the  embrace  of  this  poisonous  plague,  as  otherwise  he 
would  never  have  been  able  to  start  this  fight.  But  one  was 
stupid  enough  to  think  that  Marxism  had  now  perhaps 


THE  WORLD  WAR  219 

become  '  national ' ;  a  flash  of  genius  which  only  shows  that 
during  these  long  years  none  of  these  official  State  leaders 
had  thought  it  worth  the  trouble  to  study  the  nature  of  this 
doctrine,  for  otherwise  such  insanity  would  hardly  have 
occurred.-^ 

Marxism,  the  ultimate  aim  of  which  was  and  will  always 
be  the  destruction  of  all  non-Jewish  national  States,  to  its 
dismay  saw  during  July,  1914,  the  German  working  class, 
which  it  had  ensnared,  awake  to  enlist  in  the  service  of  the 
country  more  and  more  quickly  from  hour  to  hour.  In  a 
few  days  the  whole  show  of  this  infamous  deception  of  the 
nation  had  frittered  away,  and  the  Jewish  rabble  leaders 
stood  there  lonely  and  abandoned,  as  though  not  a  trace 
of  the  idiocy  and  lunacy  which  it  had  infiltered  into  the 
masses  for  sixty  years  remained.  It  was  a  bad  moment  for 
the  deceivers  of  the  German  nation 's  working  class.  But 
immediately  the  leaders  recognized  the  danger  which 
threatened  them,  they  at  once  pulled  the  magic  cap  of  lies 
over  their  ears  and  impudently  joined  in  aping  the  national 
rising. 

But  now  the  time  should  have  arrived  for  proceeding 
against  the  entire  fraudulent  company  of  these  Jewish 
poisonmongers  of  the  nation.  Now  one  should  have  dealt 
summarily  with  them  without  the  slightest  consideration 
for  the  clamor  that  would  probably  arise,  or,  what  would 
have  been  still  better,  without  pity  for  all  their  lamenta- 
tions. In  August  of  the  year  1914,  the  Jewish  haggling  of 
international  solidarity  had  disappeared  at  one  stroke  from 
the  heads  of  the  German  working  class,  and  instead,  after  a 
few  weeks,  American  shrapnel  began  to  pour  down  the 
blessings  of  fraternity  on  the  helmets  of  the  marching  col- 
umns. It  was  the  duty  of  a  prudent  government,  now  that 
the  German  laborer  had  found  his  way  back  to  his  nation- 
ality, to  root  out  without  pity  the  instigators  against  this 
nationality. 


220  MEIN  KAMPF 

If  the  best  were  killed  on  the  front,  then  one  could  at 
least  destroy  the  vermin  at  home. 

But  instead  of  this,  His  Majesty  the  Kaiser  in  person 
extended  his  hand  towards  the  old  criminals,  thus  showing 
the  cunning  murderers  of  the  nation  forbearance  and 
giving  them  the  chance  to  set  their  minds  at  ease, 
f  Now  the  serpent  had  a  chance  to  continue  its  work,  more 
carefully  than  before  but  also  more  dangerously.  While  the 
honest  ones  were  dreaming  of  peace  within  the  castle  walls, 
the  perjured  criminals  organized  the  revolution. 

It  made  me  discontented  in  my  mind  that  at  that  time 
one  had  decided  on  such  terrible  half  measures;  but  that 
its  end  would  be  such  a  terrible  one  even  I  would  not  have 
thought  possible. 

But  what  was  to  be  done  now?  To  put  the  leaders  of  the 
whole  movement  behind  lock  and  bar,  to  put  them  on  trial 
and  deliver  the  nation  of  them.  To  apply  ruthlessly  the 
entire  military  means  in  order  to  root  out  this  pestilence. 
The  parties  had  to  be  dissolved,  the  Reichstag,  if  necessary, 
to  be  brought  to  reason  at  the  point  of  the  bayonet,  but, 
better  still,  to  adjourn  it  immediately.  Just  as  today  the 
Republic  is  allowed  to  dissolve  parties,  one  would  have  had 
more  reason  to  apply  similar  means  in  those  days.  The  ex- 
istence or  non-existence  of  an  entire  nation  was  at  stake ! 

But  then,  of  course,  a  question  arose:  Can  spiritual  ideas 
be  extinguished  by  the  sword?  Can  one  fight  'views  of  life1 
by  applying  brute  force? 

Even  then  I  asked  myself  this  question  more  than  once. 

When  thinking  over  analogous  cases  to  be  found  in  his- 
tory, particularly  on  a  religious  basis,  the  following  funda- 
mental realization  is  the  result: 

Conceptions  and  ideas,  as  well  as  movements  with  a  cer- 
tain spiritual  foundation,  may  these  be  right  or  wrong,  can 
be  broken  at  a  certain  point  of  their  development  with 
technical  means  of  power  only  if  these  physical  weapons  are 


THE  WORLD  WAR  221 

at  the  same  time  the  supporters  of  a  new  kindling  thought, 
an  idea  or  view  of  life. 

Use  of  force  alone,  without  the  driving  forces  of  a  spir- 
itual basic  idea  as  presupposition,  can  never  lead  to  the 
destruction  of  an  idea  and  its  spreading,  except  in  the  form 
of  a  thorough  eradication  of  even  the  last  representative 
and  the  destruction  of  the  last  tradition.  This,  however, 
means  the  disappearance  of  such  a  State  body  for  endless 
times,  sometimes  forever,  from  the  circle  of  political  and 
powerful  importance,  as  such  a  sacrifice  in  blood,  as  shown 
by  experience,  often  hits  the  best  part  of  a  nationality,  be- 
cause every  persecution  that  takes  place  without  being 
based  on  a  spiritual  presupposition  does  not  seem  justified 
from  the  moral  point  of  view,  thus  instigating  just  the  more 
valuable  parts  of  a  nation  to  voice  a  protest  which  then 
expresses  itself  in  the  acquisition  of  the  spiritual  contents 
of  the  unjustly  persecuted  movement.  This  happens  with 
many  merely  out  of  the  feeling  of  opposition  against  the 
attempt  at  throttling  an  idea  by  brute  force. 

With  this,  however,  the  number  of  the  internal  adher- 
ents grows  in  the  measure  in  which  the  persecution  grows. 
Therefore,  the  complete  extinction  of  a  new  doctrine  can  be 
carried  out  only  by  way  of  an  eradication  which  is  thorough 
and  so  constantly  increasing  that  by  this  all  the  really  val- 
uable blood  is  withdrawn  from  the  nation  or  the  State 
involved.  But  this  will  take  its  revenge,  because  there  now 
can  take  place  a  so-called  'inner'  purification,  this,  however, 
at  the  expense  of  a  general  weakness.  But  from  the  very 
beginning  such  procedure  will  be  in  vain  if  the  doctrine  tc 
be  fought  has  already  stepped  outside  of  a  certain  small 
circle. 

As  with  all  growth,  here,  too,  the  early  period  of  child- 
hood offers  the  best  possibility  for  such  extinction,  for  with 
the  growing  years  the  force  of  resistance  increases,  till 
finally  with  approaching  age  it  again  gives  way  to  the 


222  MEIN  KAMPF 

weakness  of  youth,  though  in  a  different  form  and  for  other 
reasons. 

It  is  a  fact  that  all  attempts  at  the  extinction  of  a  doc- 
trine and  its  organizatory  effects  by  force  without  a  spir- 
itual foundation  lead  to  failures  and  frequently  even  end 
contrary  to  that  desired,  for  the  following  reason: 

The  very  first  condition  for  such  a  manner  of  fight  with 
the  weapons  of  pure  force  is,  and  will  always  be,  persever- 
ance. That  means  that  only  the  continued  and  regular  use 
of  the  methods  applied  for  suppressing  a  doctrine  permits 
of  the  possibility  of  success.  But  as  soon  as  intermittent 
force  alternates  with  indulgence,  the  doctrine  to  be  sup- 
pressed will  not  only  recover  again  and  again,  but  it  will  be 
able  to  draw  new  values  from  every  persecution,  for  after 
the  ebbing  of  such  a  wave  of  pressure,  the  indignation  at 
the  misery  suffered  leads  new  followers  to  the  old  doctrine, 
but  those  who  are  already  present  will  with  sharper  spite 
and  deeper  hatred  than  before  adhere  to  it,  and  even  those 
who  have  fallen  off  will  try  to  return  to  their  old  attitude 
after  the  danger  has  been  averted.  Only  in  the  eternally 
regular  use  of  force  lies  the  preliminary  condition  for 
success.  This  perseverance  is  only  and  always  the  result  of 
a  certain  spiritual  conviction  alone.  All  force  which  does 
not  spring  from  a  firm  spiritual  foundation  will  be  hesitat- 
ing and  uncertain.  It  lacks  the  stability  which  can  only 
rest  in  a  fanatical  view  of  life.  It  is  the  outcome  of  the 
energy  of  the  moment  and  the  brutal  determination  of  a 
single  individual,  but  therefore  it  is  subjected  to  the  change 
of  the  personality  and  its  nature  and  strength. 

But  to  this  something  else  must  be  added :  -<* 

Every  view  of  life,  be  it  more  of  a  political  or  of  a  religious 
nature  (sometimes  the  borderline  between  them  can  be  as- 
certained only  with  difficulty),  fights  less  for  the  negative 
destruction  of  the  adversary's  world  of  ideas,  and  more  for 
the  positive  carrying-out  of  its  own  doctrine.  Therefore,  its 


THE  WORLD  WAR  223 

fight  is  less  a  defense  than  an  attack.  Even  as  regards  the 
definiteness  of  its  goal,  it  has  an  advantage,  as  this  goal 
represents  the  victory  of  its  own  idea,  while  the  other  way 
round  it  is  difficult  to  decide  when  the  negative  aim  of  the 
destruction  of  the  enemy's  doctrine  may  be  considered  as 
completed  and  assured.  For  this  reason  alone  the  attack 
on  a  view  of  life  will  be  more  carefully  planned  and  also 
more  powerful  than  the  defense  of  such  a  doctrine;  as  here, 
too,  the  decision  is  due  to  the  attack  and  not  to  the  defense. 
But  the  fight  against  a  spiritual  power  by  means  of  force  is 
only  a  defense  as  long  as  the  sword  itself  does  not  appear 
as  the  supporter,  propagator,  and  announcer  of  a  new  spir- 
itual doctrine. 

Thus,  summing  up,  one  can  say  the  following: 

Every  attempt  at  fighting  a  view  of  life  by  means  of  force 
will  finally  fail,  unless  the  fight  against  it  represents  the 
form  of  an  attack  for  the  sake  of  a  new  spiritual  direction. 
Only  in  the  struggle  of  two  views  of  life  with  each  other  can 
the  weapon  of  brute  force,  used  continuously  and  ruth- 
lessly, bring  about  the  decision  in  favor  of  the  side  it  sup- 
ports. 

It  was  on  this  account  that  the  fight  against  Marxism  had 
failed  so  far. 

This  was  also  the  reason  why  Bismarck's  anti-socialist 
laws  finally  failed  and  were  bound  to  fail,  despite  all  efforts. 
The  platform  of  a  new  view  of  life  was  lacking  for  the  rise 
of  which  the  fight  could  have  been  fought.  Only  the  pro- 
verbial wisdom  of  ministerial  high  officials  could  produce 
the  opinion  that  the  trash  about  the  so-called  'State  author- 
ity* and  'peace  and  order'  could  be  a  suitable  basis  for  the 
spiritual  impetus  of  a  struggle  for  life  and  death. 
fBut  because  a  really  spiritual  foundation  of  this  fight 
was  lacking,  Bismarck  was  forced  to  hand  the  carrying-out 
of  his  anti-socialist  laws  to  the  judgment  and  the  volition 
of  those  institutions  which  themselves  were  already  the 


2S4  MEIN  KAMPF 

product  of  the  Marxian  way  of  thinking.  Thus  the  Iron 
Chancellor,  by  handing  over  the  responsibility  for  his  fight 
against  Marxism  to  the  benevolence  of  the  bourgeois 
democracy,  set  the  wolf  to  mind  the  sheep. 

But  all  this  was  only  the  necessary  result  of  the  lack  of  a 
fundamentally  new  view  of  life  opposed  to  Marxism,  with 
an  impetuous  will  to  conquer. 

Thus  the  result  of  Bismarck's  fight  was  only  a  severe  dis- 
appointment. 

But  were  circumstances  different  during  or  at  the  begin- 
ning of  the  World  War?  Unfortunately  not. 

The  more  I  occupied  myself  in  those  days  with  the  idea 
of  a  necessary  change  in  the  attitude  of  State  governments 
towards  Social  Democracy  as  the  present  personification  of 
Marxism,  the  more  I  recognized  the  lack  of  a  suitable  sub- 
stitute for  this  doctrine.  What,  then,  did  one  want  to  give 
to  the  masses,  if  one  were  to  suppose  that  Social  Democracy 
would  be  broken?  There  was  not  one  movement  of  which 
one  could  have  assumed  that  it  would  have  succeeded  in 
drawing  under  its  spell  the  more  or  less  leaderless  great 
masses  of  workers.  It  is  absurd  and  more  than  stupid  to 
assume  that  the  international  fanatic  who  has  left  the  class 
party  would  now  immediately  join  a  bourgeois  party;  that 
means  a  new  class  organization.  No  matter  how  disagree- 
able this  may  be  for  several  organizations,  it  cannot  be 
denied  that  to  the  bourgeois  politician  the  separation  of 
classes  appears  absolutely  natural  as  long  as  the  political 
effects  are  not  unfavorable  to  him. 

The  denial  of  these  facts  proves  not  only  the  impudence 
but  also  the  stupidity  of  the  liars,  i 

On  the  whole,  one  should  guard  against  believing  the 
great  masses  to  be  more  stupid  than  they  actually  are.  In 
political  matters  feeling  often  decides  more  accurately  than 
reason.  The  opinion,  however,  that  the  masses9  stupid 
international  attitude  is  sufficient  proof  of  the  incorrectness 


THE  WORLD  WAR  225 

of  their  feeling  can  be  refuted  thoroughly  at  once  by  the 
simple  argument  that  the  pacifistic  democracy  is  not  less 
insane,  but  that  its  supporters  come  almost  exclusively 
from  the  bourgeois  camp.  As  long  as  millions  of  citizens 
ardently  worship  the  Jewish  democratic  press  every  morn- 
ing, it  would  not  do  for  the  masters  to  make  jokes  about  the 
stupidity  of  the  'comrade'  who,  after  all,  devours  only  the 
same  rubbish  though  in  a  different  makeup.  In  both  cases 
the  manufacturer  is  one  and  the  same  Jew. 

Therefore,  one  should  guard  well  against  refuting  things 
which  actually  exist.  The  fact  that  the  class  question  is  not 
at  all  one  of  spiritual  problems  as  one  would  like  to  make  us 
believe,  especially  before  elections,  cannot  be  denied.  The 
class  pride  of  a  great  part  of  our  people,  just  like  the  low 
esteem  of  the  hand  laborer,  is,  above  all,  a  symptom  which 
does  not  come  from  the  imagination  of  one  who  is  moon- 
struck. 

But  apart  from  this,  it  shows  the  inferior  thinking  ability 
of  our  so-called  intelligentsia  when  just  in  those  circles  one 
does  not  understand  that  a  condition  which  was  not  able  to 
prevent  the  rise  of  a  pestilence,  such  as  Marxism,  will  far 
less  be  able  to  regain  that  which  is  lost. 

The  '  bourgeois '  parties,  as  they  call  themselves,  will  never 
be  able  to  draw  the  4  proletarian '  masses  into  their  camp,  as 
here  two  worlds  face  each  other,  separated  partly  naturally, 
partly  artificially,  and  their  attitude  towards  each  other 
can  only  be  a  fighting  one.  But  here  the  younger  one  will 
succeed  —  and  this  would  be  Marxism.  ^» 

In  fact,  a  fight  against  Social  Democracy  in  1914  was 
conceivable,  but  it  was  doubtful  how  long  this  condition 
could  have  lasted  because  of  the  lack  of  every  practical  sub- 
stitute. 

There  was  a  great  gap. 

I  was  of  this  opinion  long  before  the  War,  and  therefore 
I  could  not  make  up  my  mind  to  join  one  of  the  existing 


226  MEIN  KAMPF 

parties.  This  opinion  was  enhanced  in  the  course  of  the 
events  of  the  World  War  by  the  obvious  impossibility  of 
fighting  ruthlessly  against  Social  Democracy  because  of  the 
absence  of  a  movement  which  had  to  be  more  than  a  '  par- 
liamentarian' party. 

I  talked  openly  about  this  to  my  more  intimate  friends. 

What  is  more,  I  now  had  for  the  first  time  the  idea  of 
occupying  myself  politically  later  on. 

And  this  was  the  particular  reason  that  made  me  assure 
my  small  circle  of  friends  that  after  the  War  I  would  be 
active  as  an  orator  along  with  my  profession. 

I  think  that  I  meant  this  very  seriously. 


CHAPTER  VI 
WAR  PROPAGANDA 


AT  THE  time  of  my  attentive  following  of  all  political 
events,  the  activities  of  propaganda  had  always 
been  of  extremely  great  interest  to  me.  In  it  I  saw 
an  instrument  which  just  the  Socialist-Marxist  organiza- 
tions mastered  and  knew  how  to  apply  with  expert  skill.  I 
learned  very  soon  that  the  right  use  of  propaganda  repre- 
sents an  art  which  was  and  remained  almost  entirely  un- 
known to  the  bourgeois  parties.  Only  the  Christian-Social- 
ist movement,  especially  during  Lueger's  time,  acquired  a 
certain  virtuosity  with  this  instrument  and  it  owed  much  of 
its  success  to  it. 

But  it  was  shown  only  during  the  War  to  what  enor- 
mously important  results  a  suitably  applied  propaganda 
may  lead.  Unfortunately,  everything  has  to  be  studied  on 
the  other  side;  for  the  activity  on  our  side  was  more  than 
modest  in  this  respect.  However,  the  very  failure  of  the  en- 
tire enlightenment  on  the  side  of  the  Germans  —  a  fact 
which  was  bound  to  stare  in  the  face  of  every  soldier  —  now 
caused  me  to  occupy  myself  still  more  thoroughly  with 
this  question. 

There  was  often  more  than  enough  time  for  thinking, 
but  it  was  unfortunately  the  enemy  who  gave  us  only  too 
good  an  object  lesson. 


228  MEIN  KAMPF 

For  what  we  failed  to  do  in  this  direction  was  made  up 
by  the  enemy  with  really  unheard-of  skill  and  ingenious 
deliberation.  I  learned  infinitely  much  more  from  the 
enemy's  war  propaganda.  But  time  marched  on  without 
leaving  an  impression  on  the  brains  of  those  who  most  of 
all  should  have  taken  this  as  a  lesson;  partly  because  they 
deemed  themselves  too  clever  to  take  lessons  from  others, 
and  partly  because  the  honest  will  to  do  so  was  lacking. 

Was  there  any  propaganda  at  all  on  our  side? 

To  my  regret,  I  can  only  answer  no.  Everything  that 
was  actually  undertaken  in  this  direction  was  so  incomplete 
and  wrong  from  the  very  first  moment  that  it  not  only  did 
not  help,  tnit  sometimes  did  considerable  harm. 

Insufficient  in  form  its  nature  was  psychologically  wrong : 
this  was  necessarily  the  result  of  a  careful  examination  of 
the  German  war  propaganda. 

It  seemed  that  one  was  not  quite  clear  about  the  first 
question,  namely:  Is  war  propaganda  a  means  or  an  end? 

It  is  a  means,  and  therefore  it  has  to  be  judged  from  the 
point  of  view  of  the  end.  But  its  form  has  to  be  properly 
adapted  to  the  aim  which  it  serves.  But  it  is  also  clear  that 
the  importance  of  its  aim  can  be  a  different  one  according 
to  the  point  of  view  of  the  general  demand  and  that  there- 
fore propaganda  is  also  defined  differently  according  to  its 
inner  value.  But  the  aim  for  which  the  War  was  fought 
was  the  most  sublime  and  the  most  overpowering  which 
man  is  able  to  imagine:  it  was  the  freedom  and  independence 
of  our  nation,  the  assurance  of  subsistence  for  the  future, 
and  —  the  honor  of  the  nation;  something  that,  despite  all 
opinions  to  the  contrary,  is  still  present  today  or  rather 
ought  to  be  present,  as  nations  without  honor  usually  lose 
their  freedom  and  independence,  which,  in  turn,  cor- 
responds only  to  a  higher  justice,  as  generations  of  scoun- 
drels without  honor  do  not  deserve  freedom.  But  he  who 
wants  to  be  a  cowardly  slave  must  not  and  cannot  have 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  2S9 

any  honor,  as  thus  honor  would  become  subject  to  general 
disdain  within  the  shortest  time. 

It  was  for  the  struggle  for  its  human  existence  that  the 
German  people  fought,  and  to  support  this  si 
purpose  of  the  war  propaganda;  the  aim 
it  to  victory. 

But  if  nations  fight  for  their  existenc 
that  means  if  they  are  approached  by 
of '  to  be  or  not  to  be '  —  all  reflections 

ity  or  aesthetics  resolve  themselves  to  n^ 

eluded;  because  all  these  ideas  are  not  flodKnc^atout  in  they^v 
world  ether,  but  come  from  the  imaginat* 
are  connected  with  him.  His  departure  from 
dissolves  these  ideas  into  insubstantial  non-< 
Nature  does  not  know  them.  But  in  mankind,  too,  they  are 
characteristics  of  only  a  few  people  or  rather  races  accord- 
ing to  the  measure  in  which  they  originate  from  their  feel- 
ings.  Humanity  and  aesthetics  would  even  disappear  from 
a  world  inhabited  by  men  as  soon  as  it  lost  the  races  which 
are  the  creators  and  bearers  of  these  ideas. 

Where  a  people's  fight  for  existence  in  this  world  is  con- 
cerned, all  these  ideas  are  of  subordinate  importance;  they 
even  have  no  bearing  on  the  form  of  this  struggle  at  all  as 
soon  as  they  might  bring  on  a  paralysis  of  the  struggling 
nation's  force  of  self-preservation.  But  in  this  case  this  is 
always  the  only  visible  result. 

As  regards  the  question  of  humanity,  Moltke  once  ex- 
pressed himself  to  the  effect  that  in  case  of  war  humanity 
always  resides  in  the  brevity  of  the  procedure,  so  that  the 
sharpest  kind  of  fight  is  most  suitable  for  it. 

However,  if  one  were  now  to  try  to  bring  up  the  drivel 
of  aesthetics,  etc.,  where  these  considerations  are  concerned, 
there  can  be  really  only  one  answer  to  it:  questions  of  des- 
tiny, as  important  as  a  people's  struggle  for  existence,  elim- 
inate all  obligation  towards  beauty.  The  least  beauti- 


230  MEIN  KAMPF 

ful  that  can  exist  in  human  life  is  and  remains  the  yoke  of 
slavery.  Or  does  this  Schwdbing  decadence  perhaps  per- 
ceive tne  present-day  fate  of  the  German  nation  as  'aes- 
thetic1? There  is  certainly  no  need  to  discuss  this  with  the 
Jews,  the  modern  inventors  of  this  culture  perfume.  Their 
entire  existence  is  a  protest  incarnate  against  the  aesthetics 
of  the  Lord's  image. 

But  once  these^,  points  of  view  of  humanity  and  beauty 
are  beside  the  point  where  the  struggle  is  concerned,  they 
cannot  be  applied  as  a  means  to  measure  propaganda. 

During  the  War  propaganda  was  a  means  to  an  end,  but 
this  in  turn  was  the  German  people's  fight  for  existence; 
thus  propaganda  could  therefore  be  looked  upon  only  from 
the  principles  proper  to  it.  Then  the  most  cruel  weapons 
were  humane  if  they  conditioned  the  quicker  victory,  and 
beautiful  were  only  those  methods  which  helped  the  nation 
to  secure  the  dignity  of  its  freedom. 

This  was  the  only  possible  attitude  towards  the  question 
of  war  propaganda  in  such  a  fight  for  life  or  death. 

Had  the  so-called  responsible  authorities  made  this  clear 
to  themselves,  the  uncertainty  about  the  form  and  the  ap- 
plication of  this  weapon  would  never  have  originated;  for 
this  is  also  only  a  weapon,  though  a  frightful  one,  in  the 
hand  of  the  expert. 

fThe  second  question  of  actually  decisive  importance  was 
the  following:  To  whom  has  propaganda  to  appeal?  To 
the  scientific  intelligentsia  or  to  the  less  educated  masses? 

It  has  to  appeal  forever  and  only  to  the  masses! 
:  Propaganda  is  not  for  the  intelligentsia  or  for  those  who 
unfortunately  call  themselves  by  that  name  today,  but 
scientific  teaching.  But  propaganda  is  in  its  contents  as 
far  from  being  science  as  perhaps  a  poster  is  art  in  its  pre- 
sentation as  such.  A  poster's  art  lies  in  the  designer's 
ability  to  catch  the  masses'  attention  by  outline  and  color. 
The  poster  for  an  art  exhibition  has  to  point  only  to  the  art 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  231 

of  the  exhibition;  the  more  it  succeeds  in  this,  the  greater 
therefore  is  the  art  of  the  poster  itself.  Further,  the  poster 
is  to  give  to  the  masses  an  idea  of  the  importance  of  the  ex- 
hibition, but  it  is  in  no  way  to  be  a  substitute  for  the  art 
represented  by  the  exhibition.  Therefore,  he  who  wants  to 
occupy  himself  with  art  itself  has  really  to  study  more  than 
the  poster;  yes,  for  him  it  is  by  far  not  sufficient  merely  to 
'walk  through'  the  exhibition.  It  may  be  expected  of  him 
that  he  bury  himself  in  the  individual  works  by  thoroughly 
looking  them  over  so  that  then  he  may  gradually  form  a  just 
opinion  for  himself. 

The  situation  is  a  similar  one  with  what  today  we  call 
propaganda. 

The  task  of  propaganda  lies  not  in  a  scientific  training  of 
the  individual,  but  rather  in  directing  the  masses  towards 
certain  facts,  events,  necessities,  etc.,  the  purpose  being  to 
move  their  importance  into  the  masses'  field  of  vision. 

The  art  now  is  exclusively  to  attack  this  so  skillfully  that 
a  general  conviction  of  the  reality  of  a  fact,  of  the  necessity 

Hitler  says  he  awakened  during  the  War  to  the  importance 
of  propaganda,  discovered  that  German  methods  were  too 
high-brow  and  too  little  adapted  to  drum  up  popular  emotion, 
and  learned  that  the  first  rule  of  the  propagandist  must  be  to 
find  out  what  will  affect  the  masses.  In  view  of  the  fact  that 
propaganda  became  a  fundamental  concern  of  the  Nazi  r6gime, 
some  attention  to  Hitler's  contributions  to  this  science  is  called 
for.  There  is  a  convenient  analysis  in  Propaganda  Analysis, 
Vol.  I  (New  York,  1938).  This  essay,  prepared  by  experts, 
reveals  very  clearly  how  the  various  weapons  of  the  militant 
propagandist  —  e.g.,  calling  names  —  have  been  employed.  It 
relegates  to  a  position  of  minor  importance,  an  aspect  of  the 
matter  on  which  Hitler  lays  great  stress  —  that  the  propa- 
gandist who  is  trying  to  wage  war  must  eliminate  the  'esthetic' 
and  concentrate  on  stirring  up  hatred.  Therefore  this  may  be 
emphasized  here.  Many  are  convinced  (and  base  this  convic- 


232  MEIN  KAMPF 

of  an  event,  that  something;  that  is  necessary  is  also  right, 
etc.,  is  created.  But  as  it  is  not  and  cannot  be  science  in  it- 
self, as  its  task  consists  of  catching  the  masses9  attention, 
just  like  that  of  the  poster,  and  not  in  teaching  one  who  is 
already  scientifically  experienced  or  is  striving  towards 
education  and  knowledge,  its  effect  has  always  to  be  directed 
more  and  more  towards  the  feeling,  and  only  to  a  certain 
extent  to  so-called  reason.** 

All  propaganda  has  to  be  popular  and  has  to  adapt  its 
spiritual  level  to  the  perception  of  the  least  intelligent  of 
those  towards  whom  it  intends  to  direct  itself.  Therefore  its 
spiritual  level  has  to  be  screwed  the  lower,  the  greater  the 
mass  of  people  which  one  wants  to  attract.  But  if  the  prob- 
lem involved,  like  the  propaganda  for  carrying  on  a  war,  is 
to  include  an  entire  people  in  its  field  of  action,  the  caution 

tion  on  long  personal  experience)  that  the  most  effective  in- 
strument in  the  Nazi  propagandist's  hands  has  been  the 
spectacle  of  cruelty.  When  masses  of  men  have  been  repressed 
for  a  long  time  by  adverse  social,  political  and  economic  con- 
ditions, they  seem  to  accept  the  open  expression  —  above  all 
the  open  demonstration  —  of  hatred  with  deep  satisfaction. 
Almost  every  war  is  followed  by  strange  manias  of  persecution 
which  affect  the  civilian  population  more  than  they  do  the 
returning  soldier,  unless  that  soldier  deems  himself  a  victim 
of  ingratitude.  Thus  after  1918  the  United  States  witnessed  the 
spread  of  the  Ku  Klux  Klan,  a  crusade  against  the  'Reds/ 
and  several  anti-negro  riots  in  major  cities.  In  France  hostility 
to  American  and  other  foreign  troops  was  so  marked  that 
cantonments  had  to  be  evacuated  more  speedily  than  had  been 
planned. 

In  Germany,  at  all  events,  one  principal  reason  why  the 
Rightist  revolt  against  the  Republic  succeeded  was  the  progres- 
sive emphasis  upon  hatred  in  action.  The  bloody  repression 
which  marked  the  end  of  the  short-lived  'Soviet'  state  in 
Bavaria  did  not  arouse  sentiments  of  pity  in  all  the  citizens  of 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  233 

in  avoiding  too  high  spiritual  assumptions  cannot  be  too 
great. 

The  more  modest,  then,  its  scientific  ballast  is,  and  the 
more  it  exclusively  considers  the  feelings  of  the  masses,  the 
more  striking  will  be  its  success.  This,  however,  is  the  best 
proof  whether  a  particular  piece  of  propaganda  is  right  or 
wrong,  and  not  the  successful  satisfaction  of  a  few  scholars 
or  '  aesthetic '  languishing  monkeys. 

This  is  just  the  art  of  propaganda  that  it,  understanding 
the  great  masses'  world  of  ideas  and  feelings,  finds,  by  a 
correct  psychological  form,  the  way  to  the  attention,  and 
further  to  the  heart,  of  the  great  masses.  That  our  super- 
clever  heads  never  understand  this  proves  only  their  men- 
tal inertia  or  their  conceit. 

But  if  one  understands  the  necessity  of  the  attitude  of 

Munich.  The  Hitler  putsch  of  1923  made  the  Party  more 
popular  in  the  city  than  it  had  been  before.  When  the  Nazis 
drove  dissenters  —  or  imaginary  dissenters  —  from  their  meet- 
ings with  cudgels,  their  audiences  grew  larger.  Few  people  in 
Germany  were  at  bottom  anti-Semitic,  but  the  joy  large  num- 
bers felt  in  promises  of  blood-curdling  treatment  to  be  meted 
out  to  the  helpless  minority  made  them  responsive  to  the  sug- 
gestion. Smashing  windows  and  street  fighting  were  relied 
upon  to  win  the  crowd.  The  propagandists  encouraged  them 
all.  '  We  shall  reach  our  goal,'  declared  Goebbels,  *  when  we  have 
the  courage  to  laugh  as  we  destroy,  as  we  smash,  whatever  was 
sacred  to  us  as  tradition,  as  education,  as  friendship  and  as 
human  affection.'  In  the  Vienna  of  March,  1938,  ordinary 
citizens  who  had  hitherto  gone  about  peacefully,  confessed  to  a 
strange  delight  in  the  sufferings  visited  upon  the  Jewish  group. 
After  a  while  that  craving  subsides  in  the  great  majority,  to  be 
followed  by  widespread  loathing  of  what  is  termed  'barbarism.9 
The  pogrom  of  1938,  for  example,  elicited  widespread  open 
criticism.  With  such  lapses  of  fervor  the  agents  of  propaganda 
must  deal. 


234  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  attracting  skill  of  propaganda  towards  the  great  masses, 
the  following  rule  then  results: 

It  is  wrong  to  wish  to  give  propaganda  the  versatility 
of  perhaps  scientific  teaching. 

The  great  masses9  receptive  ability  is  only  very  limited, 
their  understanding  is  small,  but  their  forgetfulness  is 
great.  As  a  consequence  of  these  facts,  all  effective  propa- 
ganda has  to  limit  itself  only  to  a  very  few  points  and  to  use 
them  like  slogans  until  even  the  very  last  man  is  able  to 
imagine  what  is  intended  by  such  a  word.  As  soon  as  one 
sacrifices  this  basic  principle  and  tries  to  become  versatile, 
the  effect  will  fritter  away,  as  the  masses  are  neither  able 
to  digest  the  material  offered  nor  to  retain  it.  Thus  the  re- 
sult is  weakened  and  finally  eliminated. 

The  greater  the  line  of  its  representation  has  to  be,  the 
more  correctly  from  the  psychological  point  of  view  will 
its  tactics  have  to  be  outlined. 

For  example,  it  was  completely  wrong  to  ridicule  the  ad- 
versary as  was  done  in  Austrian  and  German  propaganda 
in  comic  papers.  It  was  basically  wrong  for  the  reason  that 
when  a  man  met  the  adversary  in  reality  he  was  bound  to  re- 
ceive an  entirely  different  impression;  something  that  took 
its  most  terrible  revenge;  for  now  the  German  soldier,  under 
the  direct  impression  of  the  resistance  of  the  enemy,  felt 
himself  deceived  by  those  who  so  far  were  responsible  for 
his  enlightenment,  and  instead  of  strengthening  his  fight- 
ing spirit  or  even  his  firmness,  quite  the  contrary  occurred. 
The  man  despaired. 

Compared  with  this,  the  war  propaganda  of  the  British 
and  the  Americans  was  psychologically  right.  By  introduc- 
ing the  German  as  a  barbarian  and  a  Hun  to  its  own  people, 
it  thus  prepared  the  individual  soldier  for  the  terrors  of  war 
and  helped  guard  him  against  disappointment.  The  most 
terrible  weapon  which  was  now  being  used  against  him  then 
appeared  to  him  only  as  the  proof  of  the  enlightenment  al- 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  835 

ready  bestowed  upon  him,  thus  strengthening  his  belief  that 
his  government's  assertions  were  right,  and  on  the  other 
hand  it  increased  his  fury  and  hatred  against  the  atrocious 
enemy.  For  the  cruel  effect  of  the  weapon  of  his  enemy 
which  he  learned  to  know  by  his  own  experience  appeared 
to  him  gradually  as  the  proof  of  the  already  proclaimed 
'Hunnish'  brutality  of  the  barbaric  enemy,  without,  how- 
ever, making  him  think  for  even  a  moment  that  his  own 
weapons  could  have,  perhaps,  or  even  probably,  a  still  more 
terrible  effect. 

Thus  the  English  soldier  could  not  even  for  a  moment 
have  the  impression  that  his  country  had  taught  him  the 
wrong  facts,  something  which  was  unfortunately  the  case 
to  such  an  extent  with  the  German  soldier  that  he  finally 
rejected  everything  that  came  from  this  side  as  'swindle* 
and  'bunk'  (Krampf).  All  these  things  were  consequences 
of  the  fact  that  they  believed  they  had  a  right  to  assign  to 
propaganda  just  any  idiot  (or  even  'otherwise*  clever  peo- 
ple) instead  of  understanding  that  sometimes  even  the 
most  outstanding  judges  of  the  human  soul  are  barely  good 
enough  for  this  purpose. 

Thus  the  German  war  propaganda  offered  an  incom- 


Allied  propaganda  as  such  had  no  lasting  effect  upon  soldiers 
at  the  Front;  and  we  may  be  sure  that  Hitler  was  thinking 
rather  of  what  could  be  done  to  keep  enthusiasm  alive  among 
civilians.  By  1917  French  soldiers  doubted  every  word  that 
their  papers  printed;  and  yet  those  papers  were  no  longer  en- 
couraging waves  of  hatred  but  were  stressing  lofty  ideals  such 
as  religious  resignation  and  the  beauty  of  a  difficult  task 
patiently  done.  '  I  do  not  believe  that  the  veteran  soldier  can 
thrive  on  hatred,'  said  an  able  writer  at  the  time.  And  the 
greatest  triumph  British  propaganda  ever  achieved  was  the 
promulgation  of  what  later  on  became  Mr.  Wilson's  '  Fourteen 
Points.' 


236  MEIN  KAMPF 

parable  lesson  for  teaching  and  instruction  for  an  'enlight- 
enment' that  worked  in  just  the  reverse  direction,  in  con- 
sequence of  a  complete  lack  of  all  psychologically  suitable 
consideration. 

The  enemy,  however,  offered  no  end  of  study  material 
for  one  who,  with  open  eyes  and  a  feeling  that  had  not  yet 
become  calcified,  pondered  over  the  flood  wave  of  the 
enemy's  propaganda  which  had  stormed  upon  him  during 
four  and  a  half  years. 

But  least  of  all  did  one  understand  the  very  primary  con- 
dition for  all  propagandistic  activity  as  a  whole:  namely, 
the  subjectively  biased  attitude  of  propaganda  towards  the 
questions  to  be  dealt  with.  In  this  field  one  sinned  from 
above  in  such  a  manner,  and  from  the  very  beginning  of  the 
War,  that  one  was  entitled  to  doubt  whether  so  much  non- 
sense could  actually  only  be  ascribed  to  stupidity. 

What  would  one  say  about  a  poster,  for  instance,  which 
was  to  advertise  a  new  soap,  and  which  nevertheless  de- 
scribes other  soaps  as  also  being  'good'? 

At  this  one  would  certainly  shake  one's  head. 

Exactly  the  same  is  the  case  with  political  advertising. 

Propaganda's  task  is,  for  instance,  not  to  evaluate  the 
various  rights,  but  far  more  to  stress  exclusively  the  one 
that  is  to  be  represented  by  it.  It  has  not  to  search  into 
truth  as  far  as  this  is  favorable  to  others,  in  order  to  present 
it  then  to  the  masses  with  doctrinary  honesty,  but  it  has 
rather  to  serve  its  own  truth  uninterruptedly. 

It  was  fundamentally  wrong  to  discuss  the  war  guilt 
from  the  point  of  view  that  not  Germany  alone  could  be 
made  responsible  for  the  outbreak  of  this  catastrophe,  but 
it  would  have  been  far  better  to  burden  the  enemy  entirely 
with  this  guilt,  even  if  this  had  not  been  in  accordance 
with  the  real  facts,  as  was  indeed  the  case. 

What,  now,  was  the  consequence  of  these  half  measures? 

The  great  mass  of  a  people  is  not  composed  of  diplomats 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  237 

or  even  teachers  of  political  law,  nor  even  of  purely  reason* 
able  individuals  who  are  able  to  pass  judgment,  but  of 
human  beings  who  are  as  undecided  as  they  are  inclined  to- 
wards doubts  and  uncertainty.  As  soon  as  by  one's  own 
propaganda  even  a  glimpse  of  right  on  the  other  side  is  ad- 
mitted, the  cause  for  doubting  one's  own  right  is  laid.  The 
masses  are  not  in  a  position  to  distinguish  where  the  wrong 
of  the  others  ends  and  their  own  begins.  In  this  case  they 
become  uncertain  and  mistrusting,  especially  if  the  enemy 
does  not  produce  the  same  nonsense,  but,  in  turn,  burdens 
their  enemy  with  all  and  the  whole  guilt.  What  is  more 
easily  explained  than  that  finally  one's  own  people  believe 
more  in  the  enemy's  propaganda,  which  proceeds  more 
completely  and  more  uniformly,  than  in  one's  own?  This, 
however,  may  be  said  most  easily  of  a  people  which  suffers 
so  severely  from  the  mania  of  objectivity  as  the  German 
people  does.  For  now  they  will  take  pains  not  to  do  an  in- 
justice to  the  enemy,  even  at  the  risk  of  the  severest  strain 
on,  or  destruction  of,  his  own  nation  and  State. 

But  the  masses  do  not  at  all  realize  that  this  is  not  the  in- 
tention of  the  responsible  authorities. 

The  people,  in  an  overwhelming  majority,  are  so  feminine 
in  their  nature  and  attitude  that  their  activities  and 
thoughts  are  motivated  less  by  sober  consideration  than  by 
feeling  and  sentiment. 

This  sentiment,  however,  is  not  complicated  but  very 
simple  and  complete.  There  are  not  many  differentiations, 
but  rather  a  positive  or  a  negative;  love  or  hate,  right  or 
wrong,  truth  or  lie;  but  never  half  this  and  half  that,  or 
partially,  etc. 

The  English  propaganda  understood  and  considered  all 
this  in  the  most  ingenious  manner.  There  were  really  no 
half  measures  which  perhaps  might  have  given  cause  for 
doubt. 

The  proof  of  this  brilliant  knowledge  of  the  primitiveness 


238  MEIN  KAMPF 

of  feeling  of  the  great  masses  was  to  be  found  in  the  atrocity 
propaganda  that  had  been  adapted  to  this,  thus  ruthlessly 
and  ingeniously  securing  moral  steadfastness  at  the  front, 
even  during  the  greatest  defeats,  and  further  in  the  just  as 
striking  pinning  down  of  the  German  enemy  as  the  only 
party  guilty  of  the  War's  outbreak;  a  lie,  the  unsurpassed, 
impudent,  and  biased  stubbornness  of  which  and  how  it 
was  brought  forth  took  into  account  the  sentimental  and 
extreme  attitude  of  this  great  people  and  therefore  gained 
credence. 

fBut  how  effective  this  kind  of  propaganda  is  is  shown 
most  strikingly  by  the  fact  that  after  four  years  it  was  not 
only  able  to  make  the  enemy  hold  his  own,  but  it  even  be- 
gan to  eat  into  our  own  people. 

We  must  not  be  surprised,  however,  that  our  propaganda 
was  not  rewarded  with  this  success.  Its  inner  ambiguity 
included  the  germ  of  failure.  But  finally,  in  consequence 
of  its  contents,  it  was  hardly  probable  that  it  would  make 
the  necessary  impression  on  the  masses.  Only  our  brainless 
'statesmen'  were  able  to  hope  that  with  this  stale  pacifistic 
dishwater  one  could  succeed  in  arousing  men  to  die  volun- 
tarily. 

Thus  this  miserable  stuff  was  useless,  even  harmful. 

Nevertheless,  all  geniality  in  the  makeup  of  propaganda 
will  not  lead  to  success  unless  a  fundamental  principle  is 
considered  with  continually  sharp  attention :  it  has  to  con- 
fine itself  to  little  and  to  repeat  this  eternally.  Here,  too, 
persistency,  as  in  so  many  other  things  in  this  world,  is 
the  first  and  the  most  important  condition  for  success. 

In  the  field  of  propaganda  particularly  one  must  never 
be  guided  by  aestheticists  or  blast  persons;  not  by  the  first, 
because  otherwise  propaganda's  form  and  expression  would 
after  a  short  time,  instead  of  being  suitable  for  the  masses, 
only  have  an  attraction  for  literary  tea  parties;  but  against 
the  second  one  ought  to  guard  oneself  carefully  for  the  rea- 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  239 

son  that  their  shortage  of  fresh  sentiments  of  their  own  is 
always  looking  for  new  stimulants.  These  people  tire  of 
everything  after  a  short  time;  they  want  a  change  and  they 
will  never  understand  or  be  able  to  imagine  the  needs  of 
their  fellow  citizens  who  are  not  yet  so  hard-boiled.  They 
are  always  the  first  critics  of  propaganda,  or  rather  of  its 
content,  which  appears  to  them  to  be  too  old,  too  hack- 
neyed, then  again  too  out-of-date,  etc.  They  always  want 
something  new,  they  look  for  changes,  thus  becoming  mor- 
tal enemies  of  any  effective  winning  of  the  masses.  For  as 
soon  as  the  organization  and  the  content  of  a  propaganda 
begin  to  orientate  themselves  after  their  needs,  it  will  lose 
all  complexity  and  will  completely  fritter  itself  away  in- 
stead. 

Now  the  purpose  of  propaganda  is  not  continually  to 
produce  interesting  changes  for  a  few  blast  little  masters, 
but  to  convince;  that  means,  to  convince  the  masses.  The 
masses,  however,  with  their  inertia,  always  need  a  certain 
time  before  they  are  ready  even  to  notice  a  thing,  and  they 
will  lend  their  memories  only  to  the  thousandfold  repetition 
of  the  most  simple  ideas.  <• 

A  change  must  never  alter  the  content  of  what  is  being 
brought  forth  by  propaganda,  but  in  the  end  it  always  has 
to  say  the  same.  Thus  the  slogan  has  to  be  illuminated 
from  various  sides,  but  the  end  of  every  reflection  has  al- 
ways and  again  to  be  the  slogan  itself.  Only  thus  can  and 
will  propaganda  have  uniform  and  complete  effect. 

This  great  line  alone,  which  one  must  never  leave,  brings 
the  final  success  to  maturity  by  continually  regular  and 
consistent  emphasis.  But  then  one  will  be  able  to  deter- 

This  is  very  true  and  Hitler  has  demonstrated  it.  From  1920 
to  1933  he  permitted  himself  few  variations.  His  was  always 
the  same  pose,  the  same  gestures  (fists  clutched  and  shaken  in 
front  of  his  face,  right  arm  stretched  above  his  head  with  the 


240  MEIN  KAMPF 

mine  with  astonishment  to  what  enormous  and  hardly  un- 
derstandable results  such  perseverance  will  lead. 

All  advertising,  whether  it  lies  in  the  field  of  business  or 
of  politics,  will  carry  success  by  continuity  and  regular 
uniformity  of  application. 

Here,  too,  the  enemy's  war  propaganda  set  a  typical  ex- 
ample. It  was  limited  to  a  few  points  of  view,  calculated 
exclusively  for  the  masses,  and  it  was  carried  out  with  un- 
tiring persistency.  Basic  ideas  and  forms  of  execution 
which  had  once  been  recognized  as  being  right  were  em- 
ployed throughout  the  entire  War,  and  never  did  one  make 
even  the  slightest  change.  At  the  beginning  it  was  appar- 
ently crazy  in  the  impudence  of  its  assertions,  later  it  be- 
came disagreeable,  and  finally  it  was  believed.  After  four 
and  a  half  years  a  revolution  broke  out  in  Germany  the 
slogan  of  which  came  from  the  enemy's  war  propaganda. 

In  England,  however,  one  understood  one  thing  more: 
that  for  this  spiritual  weapon  the  possible  success  lies  only 
in  the  mass  of  its  application,  but  that  success  amply  covers 
all  expenses. 

There,  propaganda  was  considered  a  weapon  of  the  first 
order,  whereas  with  us  it  was  the  last  bread  of  the  politician 
without  office,  and  a  pot-boiler  for  the  modest  hero. 

All  in  all,  its  effect  was  just  nil. 

index  finger  pointing  toward  the  heavens),  the  same  theme. 
The  rhythm  of  the  National-Socialist  march  is  unmistakable; 
the  conventions  which  surround  official  meetings  are  never 
dispensed  with.  There  is  always  music  of  an  approved  military 
variety. 

The  propaganda  intended  for  consumption  in  foreign  coun- 
tries has  been  carefully  adjusted  to  meet  the  requirements. 
Every  country  has  its  quota  of  agents,  to  whom  money,  ma- 
terials and  instructions  are  freely  supplied.  Ernst  Wilhelro 
Bohle,  manager  of  the  Foreign  Organization 


WAR  PROPAGANDA  241 

isation)  of  the  Party  has  associated  with  him  the  heads  of  a 
number  of  other  groups  also  working  in  their  way  to  inter- 
nationalize the  doctrines  of  National  Socialism.  The  two  most 
effective  weapons  are  these:  the  contention  that  Hitler  is  the 
bulwark  of  Western  civilization  against  the  revolutionary 
machinations  of  Moscow;  and  the  doctrine  that  Jewry  is  the 
root  of  all  evil.  There  are  many  people  in  this  world  who  fear 
the  Bolshevists;  there  are  equally  many  who  can  be  persuaded 
to  dislike  the  Jew.  Whenever  violent  nationalism  is  in  the 
ascendancy,  as  is  the  case  at  present,  both  Jew  and  believing 
Christian  necessarily  suffer,  but  the  first  is  at  an  especial  dis- 
advantage because  he  can  be  stigmatized  as  a  member  of  an 
alien  race.  Yet  there  are  other  things,  too,  which  the  propa- 
ganda attempts  to  stress  —  the  debt  of  civilization  to  the 
'Nordic';  the  sins  inherent  in  the  democratic  system  of  gov- 
ernment; and  the  blessings  of  totalitarianism. 

Throughout  the  Balkans,  where  there  are  in  every  country 
important  Jewish  minorities,  this  propaganda  falls  on  welcome 
ears,  particularly  since  a  great  number  of  peasants  —  now 
for  the  most  part  in  economic  straits  —  have  long  since  been 
anti-Semitic.  In  Slovakia  and  northern  Hungary,  the  disarray 
attendant  upon  the  Munich  settlement  seems  to  have  encour- 
aged a  kind  of  belief  that  Hitler  is  the  Grand  Mogul.  Roumania, 
Jugoslavia,  and  other  States  are  torn  between  'Fascist*  and 
'anti-Fascist1  propaganda.  A  particularly  interesting  example 
is  Greece,  whence  young  ladies  and  gentlemen  have  traveled 
to  Germany  at  Nazi  expense,  then  to  set  their  experiences 
down  in  books  and  brochures.  The  government  of  the  country 
being  a  dictatorship,  there  seems  to  be  considerable  official 
willingness  to  foster  sympathy  for  Hitler. 

In  Switzerland  a  determined  government  found  it  necessary 
during  1938  to  ferret  out  a  whole  group  of  Nazi  agents  and  spies. 
Some  of  these  lived  in  fashionable  hotels,  adorning  their  rooms 
with  photographs  of  Hitler  and  Goebbels  and  dispensing  hospi- 
tality on  a  lavish  scale.  The  Swiss  government  unearthed  a 
scheme  for  settling  all  the  German  nationals  in  the  Canton  of 
St.  Gallen,  dose  to  the  Austrian  border.  The  Basle  police  ar- 
rested a  ring  of  agents  who  had  been  active  in  Alsace-Lorraine 


£42  MEIN  KAMPF 

Holland  and  Belgium,  too,  are  under  considerable  Nazi  pres- 
sure, but  in  both  countries  the  vigorous  stand  taken  by  the 
Catholic  hierarchy  has  presented  a  formidable  obstacle.  France 
has  witnessed,  primarily  as  a  result  of  the  '  new  deal '  sponsored 
by  L6on  Blum,  a  recrudescence  of  anti-Semitism,  but  this  has 
little  to  do,  in  all  probability,  with  Nazi  influence.  There  are 
some  French  propagandists  for  Nazism,  notable  Alphonse  de 
Chateaubriant  and  Darquier  de  Pellepoix.  Nazi  aid  was 
granted  to  General  Franco  in  Spain,  and  as  a  result  a  vast 
amount  of  Nazi  propaganda  is  spread  throughout  insurgent 
territory. 

The  United  States  has  had  to  deal  with  Nazi  agents  on  nu- 
merous occasions.  The  Dickstein  Committee  and  the  Dies 
Committee  have  heard  reams  of  testimony,  usually  of  a  some- 
•  what  confused  kind,  concerning  among  other  things  the 
Deutscher  Volksbund  (German  Folk  Association)  and  other  or- 
ganizations friendly  to  Hitler.  During  1938  a  federal  grand 
jury  indicted,  tried,  and  found  guilty  a  number  of  persons  in- 
volved in  a  plot  to  obtain  military  secrets.  A  number  of  '  Fas- 
cist* organizations  throughout  the  country  receive  literature 
directly  from  German  sources,  the  most  important  of  which  are 
the  Fichtc-Bund  and  World  Service.  Naturalized  Germans 
resident  in  the  country  are  expected  to  fill  out  formulae  indi- 
cating their  ancestry  and  their  present  political  convictions. 
Subtler  methods  of  exercising  influence  are  analyzed  in  The 
German  Reich  and  Americans  of  German  Origin,  which  lists 
many  ties  binding  citizens  of  this  country  to  the  Third  Reich. 
Cf.  also  The  Nazi  International  (London,  Friends  of  Europe 
Publications,  Nr.  69). 


CHAPTER  VII 
THE  REVOLUTION 


fiN  THE  year  1915  the  enemy's  propaganda  had  started 
I  on  our  side ;  in  1 9 1 6  it  became  more  and  more  intensive, 
•  till  finally,  at  the  beginning  of  the  year  1918,  it  swelled  to 
a  very  flood.  Now  one  could  recognize  the  results  of  this 
fishing  for  souls  on  all  sides.  The  army  gradually  learned  to 
think  the  way  the  enemy  wished  it  to. 

The  German  counter-action  failed  completely. 

The  army,  by  virtue  of  the  spirit  and  will  power  of  its 
leader  at  that  time,  certainly  had  the  intention  and  de- 
termination to  take  up  the  battle  in  this  field  also,  but  it 
lacked  the  instrument  which  would  have  been  necessary 
to  do  so.  From  the  psychological  point  of  view  also  it  was 
wrong  that  this  enlightenment  be  carried  out  by  the  troops 
themselves.  If  it  was  to  be  effective,  it  had  to  come  from 
home.  Only  then  could  one  expect  to  be  successful  with 
men  who,  in  the  end,  had  performed  immortal  deeds  of 
heroism  and  sacrifice  for  their  home  country  for  almost 
four  years. 

But  what  did  come  from  home? 

Was  this  failure  stupidity  or  criminal? 

In  the  height  of  the  summer  of  1918,  after  the  southern 
banks  of  the  Marne  had  been  cleared,  the  German  press, 
above  all.  behaved  so  miserably  and  clumsily,  nay  crim- 


244  MEIN  KAMPF 

inally  stupidly,  that  with  my  daily  growing  wrath  the  ques- 
tion arose  in  my  mind  whether  there  was  really  nobody  at 
all  who  would  put  an  end  to  this  waste  of  the  army's  spirit- 
ual heroism? 

What  happened  in  France,  when  in  the  year  1914  we 
rushed  into  that  country  in  an  unheard-of  victorious  storm? 
What  did  Italy  do  in  the  days  of  the  collapse  of  its  front 
on  the  Isonzo?  What  again  did  France  do  in  the  spring  of 
1918  when  the  stormy  assaults  of  the  German  divisions 
seemed  to  unhinge  its  positions  and  when  the  far-reaching 
arm  of  the  heavy  long-distance  batteries  began  to  knock  at 
the  doors  of  Paris? 

How  had  the  fever  heat  of  national  passion  been  whipped 
into  the  faces  of  the  hastily  retreating  regiments!  How  did 
propaganda  and  ingenious  influence  work  on  the  masses 
in  order  to  hammer  the  faith  in  a  final  victory  into  the 
hearts  of  the  broken  fronts ! 

But  what  was  done  on  our  side? 

Nothing,  or  even  worse  than  that. 

At  that  time  I  often  felt  fury  and  indignation  rise  in  me 
whenever  we  received  the  latest  papers  which  enabled  us 
to  read  of  this  psychological  mass-murder  which  was  being 
carried  out. 

But  more  than  once  I  was  tormented  by  the  thought 
that,  if  Destiny  had  put  me  in  the  place  of  these  incapable 
or  criminal  scamps  or  incompetents  of  our  propagand  a  serv- 
ice, a  different  kind  of  battle  would  have  been  announced 
to  Destiny. 

In  those  months,  for  the  first  time,  I  felt  fully  the  whims 
of  fortune  which  kept  me  at  the  front  in  a  place  where  any 
lucky  move  on  the  part  of  a  negro  could  shoot  me  down, 
while  somewhere  else  I  would  have  been  able  to  render  a 
different  service  to  my  country. 

For  I  was  bold  enough  to  believe  even  then  that  I  would 
have  succeeded  in  thuu 


THE  REVOLUTION  245 

However.  I  was  one  without  a  name,  one  among  eight 
millions! 

Therefore  it  was  better  to  keep  my  mouth  shut  and  to  do 
my  duty  as  best  I  could.  •«• 


In  the  summer  of  191  j  the  enemy's  first  leaflets  fell  into 
our  hands. 

Despite  some  changes  in  form,  their  contents  were 
nearly  always  the  same,  namely:  that  distress  in  Germany 
was  growing  more  and  more;  that  the  duration  of  the  war 
would  be  endless,  while  the  hope  of  winning  it  was  dwin- 
dling gradually;  that  the  people  at  home  were  longing  for 
peace  for  this  reason,  but  that  'militarism'  as  well  as  the 
'Kaiser'  would  not  permit  this;  that  the  entire  world 
(which  was  very  well  aware  of  this)  therefore  did  not  fight 
against  the  German  people,  but  rather  exclusively  against 
the  sole  culprit,  the  Kaiser;  that  this  fight  would  not  end 
unless  this  enemy  of  peaceful  mankind  should  be  eliminated ; 
that  after  the  end  of  the  War,  the  liberal  and  democratic 
nations,  however,  would  accept  Germany  into  the  league 
of  eternal  world  peace  which  would  be  assured  from  the 
hour  when  '  Prussian '  militarism  was  destroyed. 

For  the  better  illustration  of  what  was  thus  presented 
'letters  from  home'  were  not  infrequently  reprinted,  the 
contents  of  which  seemed  to  corroborate  these  statements. 

But  in  those  days  one  generally  merely  laughed  at  these 
attempts.  The  leaflets  were  read,  then  passed  on  to  the 
rear  to  the  higher  army  staffs,  then  they  were  usually  for- 
gotten till  the  wind  forwarded  a  new  shipment  into  the 
trenches  from  above;  for  it  was  mostly  airplanes  which 
served  for  bringing  over  these  leaflets. 

In  the  nature  of  this  propaganda,  one  point  was  bound 
to  attract  attention,  that  is,  that  in  every  section  of  the 
trenches  where  there  were  Bavarians,  it  persistently  made 


246  MEIN  KAMPF 

front  against  Prussia  by  asserting  not  only  that  the  latter 
was  the  real  culprit  and  solely  responsible  for  the  entire 
War,  but  that  there  was  not  the  slightest  hostility  against 
Bavaria;  however,  one  would  not  be  able  to  help  her  as 
long  as  she  assisted  in  serving  Prussian  militarism,  by  pull- 
ing its  chestnuts  out  of  the  fire. 

As  early  as  the  year  1915  this  sort  of  persuasion  actually 
began  to  have  definite  effects.  Among  the  troops  the  feeling 
against  Prussia  grew  quite  visibly  —  but  the  authorities 
did  not  even  once  interfere.  This  was  even  worse  than  a  sin 
of  omission,  for  sooner  or  later  it  was  bound  to  take  a  most 
unfortunate  revenge,  not  only  on  the  'Prussians'  but  on 
the  German  people,  and  to  this  the  Bavarians  themselves 
last  but  not  least  belong. 

In  this  direction  the  hostile  propaganda  began  to  show 
decided  success  as  early  as  the  year  1916. 

In  the  same  way,  the  lamenting  letters  from  home  had 
long  since  begun  to  have  an  effect.  Now  it  was  no  longer 
necessary  for  the  enemy  to  forward  these  letters  to  the 
front  in  the  form  of  leaflets,  etc.  Also  nothing  was  done 
against  this  except  for  some  indescribably  stupid  'warn- 
ings' from  the  'side  of  the  government.'  Now,  as  before, 
the  front  was  flooded  with  this  poison,  manufactured  by 
thoughtless  women  at  home,  without  their  guessing,  how- 
ever, that  this  was  the  means  to  strengthen  enormously 
the  enemy's  belief  in  his  victory,  thus  prolonging  and  in- 
creasing the  sufferings  of  their  own  people  on  the  battle 
front.  The  German  women's  silly  letters  in  the  time  that 
followed  cost  hundreds  of  thousands  of  men  their  lives. 

Thus  it  was  already  in  1916  that  various  symptoms  be- 
came apparent  which  would  better  not  have  been  present. 
At  the  front  one  abused  and  'grumbled/  one  was  already 
discontented  with  many  things  and  sometimes  justly  so. 
While  the  front  suffered  hunger  and  deprivations,  while  the 
families  at  home  were  in  distress,  there  was  abundance 


THE  REVOLUTION  247 

and  revelry  in  other  places.  Nay,  even  on  the  battle  front 
itself,  not  everything  was  as  it  should  have  been  in  this 
respect. 

Even  then  there  was  a  slight  crisis;  however,  these  were 
still  'domestic'  affairs.  The  same  man  who  at  first  had 
cursed  and  grumbled,  a  few  minutes  later  performed  si- 
lently his  duty  as  though  this  were  a  matter  of  course. 
The  same  company,  which  at  first  was  discontented,  clung 
to  the  section  of  the  trenches  it  had  to  protect  as  though 
Germany's  destiny  depended  upon  these  hundred  meters 
of  mud  holes.  It  was  still  the  front  of  the  old  and  glorious 
army  of  heroes! 

I  was  to  learn  the  difference  between  home  and  the  army 
in  a  drastic  change. 

At  the  end  of  September,  1916,  my  division  joined  in  the 
Somme  battle.  For  us  this  was  the  first  of  these  enormous 
material  battles,  and  it  was  only  too  difficult  to  describe 
our  impressions.  This  really  seemed  to  resemble  hell  rather 
than  war. 

During  weeks  of  a  whirlwind  of  drum  fire  the  German 
front  stood  its  ground,  pushed  back  a  little  at  times,  then 
pushing  ahead  again,  but  never  retreating. 

On  October  7,  1916,  I  was  wounded. 

I  was  luckily  brought  to  the  rear  and  was  to  be  sent  to 
Germany  with  a  transport. 

Two  years  now  had  passed  since  I  had  seen  home,  an 
almost  endless  time  under  these  circumstances.  I  was 
hardly  able  to  imagine  what  Germans  who  were  not  clad 
in  uniforms  looked  like.  When  I  was  lying  in  the  field  hospi- 
tal at  Hermies,  I  almost  jumped  from  the  shock  when  I 
suddenly  heard  the  voice  of  a  German  woman  —  she  was  a 
nurse  —  speak  to  one  of  the  men  lying  next  to  me. 

For  the  first  time,  a  sound  like  that  after  two  years! 

But  the  nearer  the  train  which  was  to  bring  us  home  ap- 
oroached  the  border,  the  more  restless  each  one  of  us  be- 


248  MEIN  KAMPF 

came.  All  the  places  passed  by  through  which  we  had 
marched  two  years  before  as  young  soldiers:  Brussels, 
Louvain,  Li£ge,  and  finally  we  thought  that  we  recognized 
the  first  German  house  by  its  high  gable  and  its  beautiful 
shutters. 

The  fatherland! 

In  October,  1914,  we  burned  with  wild  enthusiasm  when 
we  passed  the  frontier;  now  quiet  and  emotion  prevailed. 
Each  one  was  happy  that  Destiny  allowed  him  once  more 
to  see  what  he  had  to  protect  so  earnestly  with  his  life; 
and  each  one  was  almost  ashamed  to  look  the  other  in  the 
eye. 

It  was  almost  on  the  anniversary  of  the  day  of  my  march- 
ing out  that  I  was  brought  into  the  hospital  at  Beelitz  near 
Berlin. 

What  a  change!  From  the  mud  of  the  Somme  battle  into 
the  white  beds  of  this  building  of  marvels!  At  the  begin- 
ning one  hardly  dared  to  lie  down  properly.  Only  slowly 
was  one  able  to  become  accustomed  again  to  this  new  world. 

Unfortunately,  this  world  was  new  in  still  another  direc- 
tion. 

The  spirit  of  the  army  on  the  front  seemed  no  longer  to 
be  a  guest  here.  I  heard  here  for  the  first  time  something 
that  was  still  unknown  at  the  front:  bragging  about  one's 
own  cowardice!  For,  no  matter  how  much  one  heard 
cursing  and  'grousing1  at  the  front,  it  was  never  an  invita- 
tion to  shirk  duty  or  even  a  glorification  of  the  coward. 
No.  The  coward  was  still  considered  a  coward,  and  no 
more;  and  the  contempt  he  met  with  was  still  general,  ex- 
actly as  the  admiration  paid  the  real  hero.  But  here  in  the 
hospital  it  was  already  the  reverse:  the  unprincipled  agita- 
tors had  the  word  and  tried  with  all  the  means  of  their  mis- 
erable eloquence  to  picture  the  idea  of  the  honest  soldier  as 
ridiculous  and  the  coward's  lack  of  character  as  an  exam- 
ple to  be  followed.  A  few  wretched  fellows,  above  all,  set 


THE  REVOLUTION  249 

the  fashion.  One  of  them  bragged  about  having  pulled 
his  own  hand  through  the  barbed-wire  fence  so  that  he 
could  come  to  the  hospital;  despite  this  ridiculous  accident, 
he  seemed  to  have  been  here  an  endless  time,  just  as  he  had 
come  in  the  transport  to  Germany  by  swindle.  But  this 
poisonous  fellow  actually  went  so  far  as  to  describe,  with 
impudent  cheek,  his  own  cowardice  as  the  result  of  a  brav- 
ery higher  than  the  heroic  death  of  the  honest  soldier. 
Many  listened  in  silence,  others  went  out,  but  still  others 
agreed  with  him. 

1  felt  disgust  rise  in  my  throat,  but  the  instigator  was 
quietly  tolerated  in  the  hospital.  What  was  to  be  done? 
The  authorities  must  have  known,  and  did  know  who  and 
what  he  was.  Yet  nothing  was  done. 

When  I  was  able  to  walk  again,  I  was  given  permission 
to  go  to  Berlin. 

It  was  apparent  that  distress  was  very  great  everywhere. 
The  city  of  millions  suffered  hunger.  Discontent  was  great. 
In  various  homes,  however,  where  soldiers  visited,  the 
feeling  was  similar  to  that  of  the  hospital.  The  general 
impression  was  as  though  these  fellows  intentionally  sought 
out  such  places  in  order  to  air  their  opinions. 

But  how  much  worse  were  conditions  in  Munich! 

When,  after  being  cured,  I  was  dismissed  from  the  hos- 
pital and  turned  over  to  the  reserve  battalion,  I  thought  I 


The  winter  of  1916  was  a  difficult  one  in  all  armies.  War 
weariness,  privation,  and  dissatisfaction  with  inevitable  gov- 
ernmental inefficiency  were  rife  everywhere.  What  Hitler  says 
here  concerning  the  feeling  in  Germany  could  be  matched  with 
reports  from  France  and  England.  But  in  Munich  —  and  in- 
deed throughout  most  of  Bavaria  —  the  situation  was  in  a 
measure  different.  Ancient  Bavarian  particularism  now  made 
a  scapegoat  of  Prussia,  attributing  to  it  the  militarism  that  had 
plunged  the  Empire  into  war.  Separatism  was  openly  advo- 


250  MEIN  KAMPF 

hardly  recognized  the  town  again.  Anger,  grumbling,  and 
cursing  met  me  on  all  sides.  In  the  reserve  battalion  the 
feeling  was  beyond  all  criticism.  The  clumsy  manner  in 
which  the  soldiers  from  the  front  were  treated  by  the  old 
instruction  officers,  who  had  not  been  at  the  front  for  even 
an  hour  and  who,  for  this  reason  alone,  were  able  only  par- 
tially to  establish  good  relations  with  the  old  soldiers,  con- 
tributed to  this.  The  returning  soldiers  could  not  help  but 
show  certain  peculiarities  which  were  explicable  by  their 
service  at  the  front,  but  which  were  and  remained  entirely 
incomprehensible  to  the  leaders  of  the  reserve  units,  while 
the  officer  who  had  also  been  at  the  front  could  understand 
them.  Finally,  the  latter  was  respected  by  the  men  in  quite 
a  different  way  from  the  commanders  from  the  rear.  But 
quite  apart  from  this,  the  general  mood  was  more  than  bad ; 
shirking  of  duty  was  looked  upon  almost  as  a  sign  of  higher 
wisdom,  but  faithful  endurance  as  a  sign  of  inner  weakness 
and  narrow-mindedness.  But  the  offices  of  the  authorities 

cated.  By  1918,  newspapers  in  northern  Bavaria  were  counsel- 
ing sabotage  of  the  War;  and  in  alarm  Crown  Prince  Rupprecht 
urged  upon  the  High  Command  the  necessity  for  making  the 
speediest  possible  peace.  Hitler's  subsequent  course  was  dic- 
tated in  a  measure  by  these  phenomena.  After  the  War 
Bavaria  was  a  place  of  refuge  for  all  nationalist  agitators  who 
were  pursued  by  the  Republic,  but  it  was  also  the  custodian  of 
the  monarchical  and  particularist  doctrines.  Its  government 
was  motivated  by  a  desire  to  put  Rupprecht  on  the  throne,  and 
to  regulate  the  affairs  of  Bavaria  more  or  less  independently  of 
those  of  Germany  as  a  whole.  This  could  not  be  Hitler's  pur- 
pose, since  he  was  a  Pan-German.  Accordingly  he  tried  to 
force  the  issue  and  to  compel  the  Bavarian  government  to 
participate  in  a  march  on  Berlin  by  staging  the  putsch  of  1923. 
In  a  measure  he  was  abetted  by  the  fact  that  Rupprecht  was 
averse  to  accepting  the  crown  of  Bavaria  unless  monarchical 
restoration  took  place  throughout  Germany. 


THE  REVOLUTION  851 

were  occupied  by  Jews.  Almost  every  clerk  a  Jew  and  every 
Jew  a  clerk.  I  was  amazed  by  this  multitude  of  fighters  of 
the  Chosen  People  and  could  not  help  comparing  them  with 
the  few  representatives  they  had  on  the  front. 

In  the  business  world  things  were  even  worse.  Here  the 
Jewish  people  had  really  become  'indispensable/  fThe 
spider  began  slowly  to  suck  the  people's  blood  out  of  its 
pores.  By  way  of  the  war  societies  one  had  found  the  instru- 
ment with  which  to  put  an  end,  bit  by  bit,  to  a  national 
and  free  economy. 

Now  one  stressed  the  necessity  of  a  limitless  centraliza- 
tion. 

As  early  as  in  the  year  1916-17  almost  the  entire  pro- 
duction was  indeed  under  the  control  of  the  Jewry  of  high 
finance. 

But  against  whom  did  the  people's  hatred  direct  itself? 

At  that  time  I  saw  with  horror  a  fate  approach  which, 
if  it  was  not  warded  off  in  the  eleventh  hour,  was  bound  to 
lead  us  to  destruction. 

Jewish  citizens  of  Germany  at  the  time  the  War  broke  out 
numbered  about  550,000.  Of  these  100,000  were  in  uniform, 
and  of  these  four-fifths  saw  duty  at  the  front.  There  were 
12,000  casualties,  BO  that  the  ratio  was  virtually  the  same  as 
that  for  the  population  as  a  whole;  35,000  Jews  were  decorated 
for  bravery;  23,000  were  promoted;  and  2000  received  com- 
missions —  a  remarkable  fact  seeing  that  prior  to  the  War  the 
Prussian  army  had  barred  Jewish  officers.  There  were  165  Jew- 
ish aviators,  a  fifth  of  whom  were  killed  in  action.  These  fig- 
ures are  based  on  official  German  war  records.  The  first  asser- 
tion that  Jews  had  shirked  their  duty  in  war-time  was  made  by 
General  Ernest  von  Wrisberg.  (Cf.  his  Erinnerungen.)  Jewish 
veterans  formed  an  organization  of  their  own.  General  von 
Linsingen,  a  distinguished  commander  on  the  eastern  front, 
applied  for  admission  to  this  organization  during  1933,  on  the 
ground  that  he  had  a  Jewish  grandmother. 


252  MEIN  KAMPF 

While  the  Jew  robbed  the  entire  nation  and  pressed  it 
under  his  rule,  people  agitated  against  the  'Prussians/ 
Exactly  as  on  the  front,  at  home  nothing  was  done  by  the 
authorities  against  this  poison  propaganda.  It  seemed  that 
one  did  not  guess  that  Prussia's  breakdown  would  not 
mean  the  rise  for  Bavaria,  but  that,  on  the  contrary,  the 
downfall  of  the  one  was  also  bound  to  hurl  the  other  hope- 
lessly into  the  abyss. 

At  that  time  I  felt  infinitely  sorry  because  of  this.  In 
these  things  I  could  only  see  the  most  ingenious  trick  of  the 
Jew  to  divert  general  attention  from  himself  and  draw  it  to 
others.  While  now  the  Bavarian  and  the  Prussian  quar- 
reled, the  Jew  pulled  away  their  means  of  existence  from 
under  the  very  nose  of  both ;  while  abusing  the  Prussian,  the 
Jew  organized  the  revolution  and  smashed  Prussia  as  well 
as  Bavaria  at  the  same  time. 

I  could  not  stand  this  cursed  feud  between  the  German 
tribes,  and  I  was  glad  to  return  to  the  front  for  which  I 
registered  immediately  after  my  arrival  at  Munich. 


During  the  War  commerce  in  produce  was  regulated  by  the 
government,  through  the  so-called  Kriegsgesellschaften.  Officials 
regulated  prices,  distributed  ration  cards,  and  supervised  the 
stocks  of  materials  needed  for  the  conduct  of  the  War.  During 
1914  and  1915,  Walther  Rathenau  was  director  of  the  war  ma- 
terials section  of  this  organization.  He  was  a  Jewish  industrial- 
ist and  author  of  treatises  on  social  problems,  who  later  on 
became  Foreign  Minister  in  the  Wirth  Cabinet  and  whose  mur- 
der by  a  band  of  Rightist  assassins  in  1922  almost  precipitated 
another  civil  war.  Doubtless  the  major  reason  for  the  hatred 
which  nationalists  of  the  kind  to  whom  Hitler  appealed  felt  for 
Rathenau  was  nothing  more  serious  than  a  remark  once  ated 
from  his  writings  by  General  Ludendorff.  The  charge  that 
Rathenau  could  have  used  his  office  to  further  Jewish  financial 
interests  is  a  fabrication. 


THE  REVOLUTION  253 

At  the  beginning  of  March,  1917,  I  was  again  with  my 
regiment. 


Towards  the  end  of  the  year  1917  it  seemed  as  though  the 
depth  of  the  army's  despair  had  passed.  After  the  Russian 
breakdown  the  entire  army  now  breathed  new  hope  and 
fresh  courage.  The  conviction  that  the  fight  would  yet  end 
with  a  German  victory  began  to  take  hold  of  the  troops 
more  and  more.  Now  one  could  hear  them  sing  again,  and 
the  croakers  became  fewer  in  number.  Once  more  one  be- 
lieved in  the  fatherland's  future. 

Especially  the  Italian  breakdown  of  the  fall  of  1917  had 
exercised  the  most  wonderful  influence;  for  one  saw  in  this 
victory  the  proof  of  the  possibility  that  one  would  be  able 
to  break  through  the  front  at  a  place  distant  from  the  Rus- 
sian battlefield.  Now  again  a  marvelous  faith  filled  the 
hearts  of  the  millions  and  made  them  look  forward  to  the 
spring  of  1918  with  revived  confidence.  The  enemy,  how- 
ever, was  visibly  depressed.  In  this  winter  he  remained  a 
little  more  quiet  than  at  other  times.  The  calm  before  the 
storm  had  set  in. 

While  now  the  front  undertook  the  ultimate  preparations 
for  the  final  termination  of  the  eternal  struggle,  while  end- 
less transports  of  men  and  material  rolled  towards  the 
Western  Front  and  the  troops  were  given  their  final  train- 
ing for  the  great  attack,  the  worst  piece  of  villainy  of  the 
entire  War,  up  to  that  time,  took  place  in  Germany. 

Germany  was  not  to  be  victorious;  thus  in  the  last  hour, 
when  victory  already  threatened  to  fasten  itself  to  the  Ger- 
man flags,  one  had  seized  means  which  seemed  suitable  to 
nip  in  the  bud  at  one  blow  the  German  attack  of  that 
spring  and  to  make  victory  impossible. 

The  munitions  strike  was  organized. 

!f  it  succeeded,  then  the  German  front  was  bound  to 


S54  MEIN  KAMPF 

break  down,  and  the  wish  of  the  Vorwaerts,  that  this  victory 
was  not  to  entwine  itself  with  the  German  flags,  would  be 
fulfilled.  With  the  shortage  of  munitions  the  front  must 
necessarily  be  pierced  in  the  course  of  a  few  weeks,  the 
attack  was  thus  prevented,  the  Entente  was  saved,  but 
international  capital  was  made  Germany's  master;  for  this 
was  the  inner  aim  of  the  Marxist  betrayal  of  the  people. 

The  smashing  of  the  national  economy  in  favor  of  the 
establishment  of  the  rule  of  international  capital;  some- 
thing in  which  these  gentlemen  now  succeeded,  thanks  to 
the  stupidity  and  the  credulity  of  the  one  and  the  bottom- 
less cowardice  of  the  other.  <• 

However,  the  munitions  strike  had  not  the  ultimately 
desired  success  as  far  as  starving  the  front  of  weapons  was 
concerned;  it  broke  down  too  early  to  allow  the  shortage 
of  munitions  as  such  to  sentence  the  army  to  doom,  such 
as  the  plan  presented  itself.  But  how  much  more  terrible 
was  the  moral  damage  which  now  had  been  done! 

First,  for  what,  now,  did  the  army  continue  to  fight,  if 
home  itself  no  longer  wanted  victory?  For  whom  the 

The  Munitions  Strike  was  declared  in  Berlin  and  some  other 
cities  during  February,  1918.  It  was  an  effort  to  secure  amelio- 
rations, particularly  of  the  food  ration;  but  it  was  also  used  by 
some  of  its  sponsors  as  an  act  of  protest  against  the  continuance 
of  the  War.  Leaders  of  the  Socialist  Party  had  entered  the 
strike  committee  specifically  in  order  to  see  to  it  that  the  move- 
ment did  not  sponsor  sabotage.  General  Ludendorff  placed 
Berlin  under  martial  law,  mass  arrests  were  made,  and  large 
numbers  of  workers  were  sent  to  the  front.  This  broke  the 
strike  before  any  military  damage  was  done,  but  the  psycho- 
logical effect  on  the  workers  was  bad.  They  felt  that  their  just 
demands  had  been  answered  with  nothing  but  brutal  repression. 
For  their  part  the  generals  felt  that  German  morale  had  been 
seriously  undermined.  (Cf .  Die  14  Jahre,  by  Friedrich  Stamp- 
fer.) 


THE  REVOLUTION  255 

enormous  sacrifices  and  deprivations?  The  soldier  was  to 
fight  for  victory  and  at  home  they  were  striking  against  it! 

But  what  was,  secondly,  the  effect  on  the  enemy? 

In  the  winter  of  1917-18  dark  douds  rose  for  the  first 
time  over  the  horizon  of  the  Allied  world.  For  almost  four 
years  now  one  had  attacked  the  German  giant  and  could 
not  bring  him  to  fall;  but  in  addition,  it  was  only  the  arm 
holding  the  shield  which  was  free  to  defend  himself,  while 
he  had  to  raise  the  sword  for  striking  now  in  the  East, 
now  in  the  South.  Now,  at  last,  the  giant  was  free  in  the 
back.  Streams  of  blood  had  flown  till  he  succeeded  in 
finally  striking  down  one  of  the  enemies.  Now  in  the  West 
the  sword  was  to  help  the  shield,  and  had  the  enemy  not 
succeeded  so  far  in  breaking  the  defense,  now  he  was  to  be 
hit  by  attack. 

Vorwaerts,  the  Berlin  Social  Democratic  daily,  had  demanded 
a  peace  of  understanding  rather  than  a  peace  of  victory.  But 
the  sentence  here  quoted  from  an  editorial  of  October  20,  1918, 
is  taken  out  of  its  context,  as  will  be  evident  when  the  passage 
as  a  whole  is  cited:  'We  stand  against  overwhelming  odds.  We 
will  not  win  this  war.  We  will  not  fight  a  moment  longer  than 
we  must  fight,  and  we  are  fighting  not  for  victory  but  for 
peace  in  which  there  will  not  be  present  the  germ  of  another 
war.  Germany  shall  —  that  is  our  firm  decision  as  Socialists  — 
furl  its  battle  flags  forever  without  having  brought  them  home 
in  victory  the  last  time.  That  is  a  heavy  moral  burden  for 
every  people,  and  those  who  wish  to  make  that  burden  heavier 
than  it  can  be  borne  take  a  great  measure  of  responsibility  upon 
themselves.  No  peace  can  make  us  unable  to  defend  ourselves. 
Even  the  victor  can  obtain  security  only  from  a  peace  that  dis- 
arms all  and  makes  friends  of  enemies.  But  a  peace  is  a  danger 
for  him  too,  if  it  be  a  peace  which  sends  a  people  home  to  read 
in  the  bloody  history  of  the  past  that  the  vanquished  of  today 
are  the  victors  of  tomorrow.'  It  is,  of  course,  perfectly  obvious 
that  this  editorial  —  written  after  the  armistice  parleys  had  be- 
gun —  was  only  a  plea  for  a  just  treaty  of  peace. 


256  MEIN  KAMPF 

fOne  feared  him  and  one  was  worried  about  the  victory. 

In  London  and  Paris  one  conference  chased  the  other, 
but  on  the  front  a  sleepy  silence  prevailed.  The  gentlemen 
had  suddenly  lost  their  impudence.  Even  the  hostile  propa- 
ganda had  hard  work  now;  it  was  no  longer  so  easy  to 
prove  the  hopelessness  of  the  German  victory. 

But  this  was  true  also  as  regards  the  Allied  troops  on 
the  fronts  themselves.  Now  also  an  uncanny  realization 
began  to  dawn  gradually  upon  them.  Their  inner  attitude 
towards  the  German  soldier  had  changed  now.  Up  till  now 
he  might  be  looked  upon  as  a  fool  who  was  nevertheless 
destined  to  doom;  now,  however,  they  were  confronted  by 
the  conqueror  of  the  Russian  ally.  The  limitations  of  the 
German  attacks  in  the  East,  born  of  necessity,  now  seemed 
ingenious  tactics.  For  three  years  now  these  Germans  had 
stormed  Russia,  at  the  beginning  without  even  the  slight- 
est seeming  success.  One  almost  laughed  at  this  senseless 
enterprise;  because,  by  the  overwhelming  number  of  his 
men,  the  Russian  giant  was  finally  sure  to  remain  the 
victor,  Germany,  however,  would  collapse  after  having 
bled  herself  out.  Reality  seemed  to  confirm  this  hope. 

Since  September,  1914,  when  for  the  first  time  the  end- 
less masses  of  Russian  prisoners  from  the  Tannenberg 
battle  began  to  roll  towards  Germany  on  roads  and  rail- 
ways, this  stream  hardly  ever  came  to  an  end;  but  for 
every  beaten  and  destroyed  army,  a  new  one  arose.  In- 
exhaustibly the  gigantic  realm  continued  to  give  the  Czar 
new  soldiers  and  the  war  new  victims.  How  long  would 
Germany  be  able  to  hold  her  own  in  this  race?  Was  not 
the  day  to  arrive  when,  after  the  last  German  victory,  still 
not  the  last  Russian  armies  would  march  up  for  the  very 
last  battle?  And  what  then?  In  all  human  probability,  a 
Russian  victory  could  well  be  postponed,  but  it  was  bound 
to  come. 

Now  all  these  hopes  were  at  an  end;  the  ally  who  had 


THE  REVOLUTION  257 

laid  down  the  greatest  sacrifice  in  blood  on  the  altar  of 
common  interests  was  at  the  end  of  his  strength  and  was 
lying  prostrate  on  the  ground  before  the  inexorable  aggres- 
sor. Fear  and  horror  crept  into  the  hearts  of  the  soldiers 
who  hitherto  had  trusted  blindly.  One  feared  the  coming 
spring.  For,  if  so  far  one  had  not  succeeded  in  breaking 
the  German  even  though  he  was  able  to  present  himself 
only  in  part  on  the  Western  Front,  how  could  one  still 
count  on  a  victory  now  that  the  entire  power  of  this  un- 
canny State  of  heroes  seemed  to  concentrate  itself  for  an 
attack  of  its  own? 

The  shadows  of  the  South  Tyrolean  mountains  cast 
gloom  on  the  imagination :  as  far  as  into  the  fogs  of  Flanders 
the  beaten  armies  of  Cadorna  conjured  up  dreary  faces, 
and  the  confidence  in  the  victory  gave  way  before  the  fear 
of  the  coming  defeat. 

There,  when  out  of  the  cool  nights  one  thought  one 
already  heard  the  monotonous  rolling  of  advancing  storm 
units  of  the  German  army,  and  when  one  started  with 
oppressing  fear  at  the  coming  judgment,  suddenly  a  fierce 
red  light  flashed  up  in  Germany  and  threw  its  rays  as  far 
as  into  the  remotest  shell  hole  of  the  enemy's  front  ;<• 
at  the  moment  when  the  German  divisions  received  their  last 
instructions  for  the  great  attack,  the  general  strike  broke 
out  in  Germany. 

At  first  the  world  was  speechless.  But  then  the  hostile 
propaganda  threw  itself  with  sighs  of  relief  upon  this  aid 
in  the  eleventh  hour.  Now  at  one  blow  the  means  was 
found  with  which  one  was  able  to  raise  the  sinking  confi- 
dence of  the  Allied  soldiers,  to  make  the  probability  of 
victory  appear  realizable  again,  and  to  turn  the  gloomy 

This  is  part  of  the  famous  'stab  in  the  back*  theory  of  why 
Germany  lost  the  War.  A  statement  concerning  this  theory  is 
appended  to  this  chapter. 


S58  MEIN  KAMPF 

fear  of  the  coming  events  into  determined  confidence.  Now 
the  conviction  that  the  decision  about  the  end  of  this  war 
would  not  be  due  to  the  daring  of  the  German  storm,  but 
to  their  endurance  in  warding  it  off,  could  be  given  to  the 
regiments,  expecting  the  German  attack,  on  their  way  to 
the  greatest  battle  of  all  times.  One  could  let  the  Germans 
win  as  many  victories  as  they  might  want  to;  Revolution 
awaited  its  entry  into  their  country  and  not  the  victorious 
army. 

Now  British,  French,  and  American  papers  began  to 
plant  again  this  belief  into  the  hearts  of  their  readers, 
while  an  infinitely  skillful  propaganda  whipped  up  the 
troops  on  the  front. 

'Germany  on  the  eve  of  Revolution.  Victory  of  the 
Allies  inevitable/  This  was  the  best  medicine  in  order  to 
set  the  wavering  poilu  or  Tommy  on  his  feet  once  more. 
Now  rifles  and  machine  guns  could  be  made  to  fire  once 
more,  and  a  rushing  away  in  panicky  flight  was  replaced 
by  hopeful  resistance. 

This  was  the  result  of  the  munitions  strike.  It  strength- 
ened the  hostile  nation's  confidence  in  victory  and  elimi- 
nated the  paralyzing  despair  of  the  Allied  front.  But  in 
the  time  that  followed,  thousands  of  German  soldiers  had 
to  pay  for  this  with  their  blood.  The  originators  of  the 
villainous  act  were  the  aspirants  to  the  highest  State  posi- 
tions of  revolutionary  Germany. 

On  the  German  side  one  was  at  first  certainly  able  appar- 
ently to  overcome  the  most  visible  reaction  to  this  act, 
but  on  the  side  of  the  enemy  the  consequences  soon  became 
apparent.  The  resistance  had  lost  the  aimlessness  of  any 
army  that  considered  everything  as  lost,  and  in  its  stead 
appeared  the  exasperation  of  a  fight  for  victory. 

For  in  all  human  probability,  victory  was  now  bound  to 
come  if  the  Western  Front  resisted  the  German  attack 
for  only  a  few  months.  In  the  parliaments  of  the  Entente, 


THE  REVOLUTION  259 

however,  one  recognized  the  possibilities  of  the  future,  and 
one  granted  unheard-of  funds  for  the  continuation  of  the 
propaganda  for  Germany's  destruction. 


I  had  the  good  fortune  to  be  able  to  join  in  the  first 
two  attacks  and  in  the  last  one. 

These  have  become  the  most  enormous  impressions  of  my 
life;  enormous  for  the  reason  that  now  for  the  last  time, 
as  in  1914,  the  fight  lost  its  character  of  defense  and  assumed 
that  of  attack.  A  breath  of  relief  passed  along  the  trenches 
and  posts  of  the  German  army,  when  finally,  after  more 
than  three  years  of  perseverance  in  the  hostile  inferno, 
the  day  of  revenge  approached.  Once  more  the  victorious 
battalions  jubilated,  and  the  last  wreaths  of  immortal 


On  March  21,  1918,  the  Germans  launched  an  attack  on  the 
British  Fifth  Army  along  the  Picardy  front.  The  onslaught  waa 
heaviest  at  the  point  where  the  English  and  French  forces 
joined,  and  for  some  days  it  seemed  as  if  the  Fifth  Army  would 
be  destroyed.  But  French  reinforcements  arrived  in  time  to 
stem  the  tide.  In  April  the  Germans  struck  another  blow 
farther  to  the  north,  and  in  the  battle  of  Armentiftres  imperiled 
Calais  and  other  Channel  ports.  British  losses  were  heavy,  but 
Ludendorff  failed  to  reach  his  objective.  Thereupon,  during 
the  months  of  May  and  June,  three  attacks  were  made  in  the 
hope  of  encircling  Paris.  The  Germans  succeeded  in  crossing 
the  Marne  at  Chateau-Thierry,  but  the  Rheims  salient  held  and 
therewith  the  German  thrust  had  failed.  On  July  18,  Marshal 
Foch  began  the  series  of  successful  counter-attacks  that  ended 
the  War. 

There  can  be  no  doubt  that  Ludendorff 's  offensives  consti- 
tute one  of  the  most  brilliant  and  most  futile  military  opera- 
tions in  history.  A  magnificent  German  army,  sure  that  it 
could  end  the  conflict  and  cheered  by  the  elimination  of  Russia, 
struck  with  a  vigor  that  will  forever  honor  its  history.  But  the 


260  MEIN  KAMPF 

laurel  hung  themselves  on  the  flags  around  which  victory 
waved.  Once  more  the  songs  of  the  fatherland  roared  up 
to  the  sky  along  the  endless  marching  columns  and  for 
the  last  time  the  Lord's  grace  smiled  down  on  his  ungrate- 
ful children. 

* 

In  the  height  of  the  summer  of  1918  oppressive  sultriness 
hovered  over  the  front.  At  home  one  quarreled.  What 
about?  Many  stories  were  told  in  the  various  units  of  the 
field  army.  Now  the  War  was  hopeless,  and  only  fools  were 
still  able  to  believe  in  victory.  The  people  no  longer  had 
an  interest  in  holding  out  any  further,  but  only  Capital 
and  the  monarchy  —  this  news  came  from  home  and  was 
also  discussed  on  the  front. 

At  first  it  reacted  only  very  moderately  to  this.  What 
had  we  to  do  with  universal  suffrage?  Was  it  perhaps  for 
this  that  we  had  fought  for  four  years?  It  was  a  mean  act 
of  banditry  to  steal  in  this  way  the  aim  of  the  War  from 
the  heroes  dead  in  their  graves.  Not  with  the  call,  '  Long 
live  universal  suffrage  and  the  secret  ballot,'  had  the  young 
regiments  once  marched  towards  death  in  Flanders,  but 
with  the  cry,  'Deutschland  uber  dttes  inder  Welt.'  A  small 
but  not  quite  unimportant  difference.  But  those  who  called 
for  the  right  to  vote  had  for  the  greater  part  not  been 
there  where  now  they  wanted  to  fight  for  this.  The  front 
did  not  know  the  whole  pack  of  political  parties.  One  saw 
only  a  fraction  of  the  'parliamentarian'  gentlemen  there 

wisdom  of  LudendorfFs  strategy  —  in  these  battles  von  Hin- 
denburg  was  little  more  than  a  moral  force  —  has  been  doubted 
by  the  best  German  students  of  military  science.  He  had 
staked  the  future  of  Germany  on  a  desperate  gamble,  using  all 
available  man-power  and  destroying  every  hope  of  reaching  a 
peace  by  negotiation. 


THE  REVOLUTION  261 

where  decent  Germans  stayed  at  that  time,  provided  their 
limbs  were  only  straight. 

The  front  in  its  old  makeup  was  therefore  only  little 
susceptible  to  these  new  war  aims  of  the  Messrs.  Ebert, 
Scheidemann,  Earth,  Liebknecht,  etc.  Also,  one  did  not 
at  all  understand  why  these  shirkers  should  now  suddenly 
have  the  right  to  assume  control  of  the  State  by  going 
over  the  heads  of  the  army. 

My  personal  attitude  towards  this  was  fixed  from  the 
beginning:  I  whole-heartedly  hated  the  entire  Jot  of  these 
wretched  party  rascals  who  betrayed  the  people.    Long 
since  I  had  clearly  seen  the  fact  that  this  gang  were  really 
not  concerned  with  the  welfare  of  the  nation,  but  rather 
with  filling  their  own  empty  pockets.    But  that  even  now 
they  were  ready  to  sacrifice  the  entire  people  to  this  pur- 
Hitler,  as  Heiden  points  out  in  a  brilliant  passage,  is  here 
describing  what  may  have  been  the  experience  which  shaped 
his  own  future.  He  did  not  question  the  right  fulness  of  the  kind 
of  leadership  then  directing  the  destinies  of  Germany.    The 
hard-headed  tenacity  with  which  Ludendorff  clung  to  a  war  of 
conquest,  the  declaration  of  U-boat  warfare  in  spite  of  the 
United  States,  the  harshness  of  the  Treaty  of  Brest-Litovsk, 
the  march  through  Belgium,  the  sacrifice  of  all  moral  prestige 
in  the  world  —  all  these  things  and  more  he  was  wholly  willing 
to  accept  because  they  meant  the  extension  of  German  power. 
But  he  saw  that  this  military  government  and  the  caste  which 
had  supported  it  had  failed  to  catch  the  ear  of  the  people.  Even 
the  instruments  of  propaganda  which  the  nationalists  devised 

—  among  them  the  Vatcrlandspartei  (Fatherland  Party)  and 
its  orators  who  accused  every  moderate  German  of  high  treason 

—  failed  abysmally  to  do  the  necessary  work. 

Personal  contact  with  other  soldiers  had  brought  Hitler  as 
little  success  as  had  his  relations  with  Viennese  workingmen. 
The  rest  avoided  him,  looked  upon  his  formalistic  fidelity  to 
military  routine  as  'bootlicking;/  and  laughed  at  his  patriotic 


262  MEIN  KAMPF 

pose,  and,  if  necessary,  to  let  Germany  go  to  the  dogs, 
this,  in  my  eyes,  made  them  ripe  for  the  rope.  To  consider 
their  wishes  would  mean  to  sacrifice  the  interests  of  the 
working  classes  in  favor  of  a  number  of  sluggards;  but  one 
could  fulfill  them  only  if  one  was  ready  to  give  up  Germany. 

These  were  still  the  thoughts  of  by  far  the  majority  of 
the  fighting  army.  Only  the  reinforcements  coming  from 
home  now  rapidly  became  worse  and  worse,  so  that  their 
arrival  did  not  mean  a  strengthening,  but  rather  a  weaken- 
ing, of  the  fighting  forces.  The  young  reinforcements 
especially  were  for  the  greater  part  worthless.  Often  one 
could  believe  only  with  difficulty  that  these  were  supposed 
to  be  the  sons  of  the  same  nation  which  once  had  sent  its 
youth  into  the  battle  of  Ypres. 

During  August  and  September  the  symptoms  of  decay 
increased  rapidly,  although  the  effects  of  the  enemy  at- 
tacks could  not  be  compared  with  the  horrors  of  our 
defensive  battles  of  some  time  ago.  Compared  with  them, 


speeches.  The  reason  was,  he  decided,  that  these  men  had  been 
misled  by  'democratic*  propaganda.  They  really  believed  that 
the  War  was  being  fought  for  the  sake  of  the  nobles  and  the 
rich.  To  them  electoral  reform  did  mean  something,  and  their 
labor  organizations  were  matters  of  great  import  to  them.  No- 
body had  made  them  realize  that  alj^uch  things  were  of  minor 
consequence  compared  with  the  aggrandizement  of  Germany. 
For  that  aggrandizement  would  mean  the  nation's  enrichment 
and  therewith  prosperity  and  prestige. 

In  Hitler's  mind  there  ripened  the  decision  to  supply  the 
missing  contact  between  Pan-Germanism  and  democracy.  He 
would  talk  to  the  people  in  their  own  language,  but  he  would 
persuade  them  to  adopt  the  Pan-German  outlook.  Now  his  ad- 
miration for  Lueger,  and  his  respect  for  Allied  statesmen  like 
Wilson  and  Lloyd  George,  bred  in  him  the  conviction  that  he 
would  give  Germany  the  benefit  of  a  similar  methodology. 


THE  REVOLUTION  263 

the  Somme  and  Flanders  battles  were  ghastly  memories 
of  the  past. 

At  the  end  of  September  my  division  for  the  third  time 
came  to  those  positions  we  once,  as  young  volunteer  regi- 
ments, had  attacked. 

What  a  memory! 

t  There,  in  October  and  November,  1914,  we  had  received 
our  baptism  of  fire.  With  the  love  for  the  fatherland  in 
our  hearts  and  with  songs  on  our  lips,  our  young  regiment 
had  marched  into  battle  as  to  a  dance.  The  most  valuable 
blood  gave  itself  up  joyfully  in  the  belief  that  it  would 
guard  the  fatherland's  independence  and  freedom. 

In  July,  1917,  we  stepped  for  the  second  time  on  the 
soil  that  was  sacred  to  us.  For  under  it  there  slumbered 
the  best  comrades,  almost  children  still,  who  once  with 
beaming  eyes  had  run  into  the  arms  of  death  for  the  only 
and  dear  fatherland ! 

Now  we  old  ones,  who  once  had  marched  out  with  the 
regiment,  stood  in  reverential  emotion  on  the  soil  of  the 
oath  for  'loyalty  and  obedience  unto  death/ 

This  soil  which  our  regiment  had  conquered  by  storm 
three  years  before,  it  had  now  to  guard  in  a  difficult  de- 
fensive battle. 

With  continuous  drum  fire  for  three  weeks,  the  British 
prepared  the  great  attack  of  Flanders.  There  the  spirits  of 
the  dead  seemed  to  come  to  life  again ;  the  regiment  clutched 
the  dirty  mud  and  fastened  its  grip  into  the  individual 
holes  and  craters  and  did  not  give  way  and  did  not  waver, 
and  thus,  as  once  before  in  this  place,  it  became  smaller 
and  thinner  in  number,  till  finally  on  July  31,  1917,  the 
English  attack  broke  out. 

In  the  first  days  of  August  we  were  relieved. 

The  regiment  had  been  reduced  to  a  few  companies; 
these  now  made  their  way  back,  stumbling  and  encrusted 
with  mud,  more  like  ghosts  than  human  beings.  But  apart 


264  MEIN  KAMPF 

from  a  few  hundred  meters  of  shell  holes,  the  English  had 
only  gained  death.  <<• 

Now,  in  the  fall  of  1918,  we  stood  for  the  third  time  on 
the  soil  of  the  storms  of  1914.  Our  one-time  resting  place, 
Comines,  had  now  become  the  battlefield.  However,  even 
though  the  battlefield  was  the  same,  the  men  had  changed; 
now  one  also  'discussed  polities'  among  the  troops.  The 
poison  from  home,  as  everywhere  else,  began  to  show  its 
effect  here  also.  The  younger  reinforcements,  however, 
failed  completely,  they  came  from  home. 

In  the  night  from  October  13  to  October  14  the  English 
began  to  throw  gas  on  the  southern  front  of  Ypres;  yellow- 
cross  gas  was  being  used,  the  effects  of  which  were  unknown 
to  us  so  far  as  personal  experience  was  concerned.  I  was 
to  get  to  know  it  personally  in  this  very  night.  On  the 
eve  of  October  13,  on  a  hill  south  of  Wervick,  we  had  come 
under  a  drum  fire  of  gas  shells,  lasting  several  hours,  which 
continued  more  or  less  violently  throughout  the  entire 
night.  Towards  midnight  a  part  of  us  passed  out,  some  of 
our  comrades  forever.  Towards  morning  I,  too,  was  seized 
with  pains  which  grew  worse  with  every  quarter  hour,  and 
at  seven  o'clock  in  the  morning  I  stumbled  and  tottered 
rearwards  with  burning  eyes,  but  taking  with  me  my  last 
report  in  the  War. 

Already  a  few  hours  later  the  eyes  had  turned  into 
burning  coals;  it  had  become  dark  around  me. 

Thus  I  was  brought  into  the  hospital  at  Pasevalk  in 
Pomerania  and  there  I  was  to  experience  the  greatest 
villainy  of  the  century. 


Something  uncertain  and  disgusting  had  hovered  in  the 
air  for  a  long  time.  People  told  each  other  that  during  the 
coming  weeks  it  would  'go  off,9  but  I  was  not  able  to 
imagine  what  was  to  be  understood  by  this.  First  of  all 


THE  REVOLUTION  265 

I  thought  of  a  strike,  similar  to  that  of  spring.  Unfavorable 
rumors  continued  to  come  from  the  navy  which  was  said 
to  be  in  ferment.  But  also  this  appeared  to  me  more  a 
product  of  the  imagination  of  various  fellows  than  some* 
thing  that  concerned  the  masses.  In  the  hospital,  however, 
everybody  hoped  that  the  end  of  the  War  might  come 
soon,  but  nobody  counted  on  an  'immediately.'  However, 
I  was  not  able  to  read  newspapers. 

During  November  the  general  tension  increased. 

There  one  day  suddenly  and  without  warning  the  disaster 
came  upon  us.  Sailors  arrived  on  trucks  and  called  out  for 
the  Revolution;  a  few  Jew  boys,  however,  were  the  'leaders' 
in  the  fight  that  now  started  also  here,  the  fight  for  'free- 
dom/ 'beauty/  and  'dignity'  of  our  people's  existence. 
None  of  them  had  been  at  the  front.  By  way  of  a  so-called 
'gonorrhoea-hospital1  these  three  Orientals  had  been  sent 
home  from  the  base  behind  the  front.  Now  they  pulled  up 
the  red  rag  here. 

I  had  been  somewhat  better  lately.  The  boring  pain  in 
the  sockets  of  my  eyes  had  diminished;  gradually  I  suc- 
ceeded in  learning  to  distinguish  my  surroundings  in  rough 
outlines;  I  could  hope  to  regain  my  eyesight  at  least  enough 
that  later  I  would  be  able  to  take  up  some  profession ;  how- 
ever, I  could  no  longer  hope  that  I  would  ever  again  be 
able  to  draw;  nevertheless  I  was  on  the  way  to  improve- 
ment when  the  iponstrous  event  happened. 

My  first  hope  was  still  that  the  high  treason  was  nothing 
but  a  more  or  less  local  affair.  I  also  tried  to  convince 
some  of  my  comrades  to  that  effect.  Especially  my  Bava- 
rian comrades  in  the  hospital  were  more  than  receptive  to 
this.  The  mood  was  anything  but '  revolutionary.'  Further, 
I  could  not  imagine  that  the  lunacy  would  break  out  in 
Munich  also.  The  loyalty  towards  the  honorable  House  of 
Wittelsbach  seemed  to  me  to  be  stronger  than  the  will  of 
a  few  Jews.  Thus  I  could  but  believe  that  this  was  only  a 


266  MEIN  KAMPF 

putsch  on  the  part  of  the  navy  which  would  be  suppressed 
in  the  following  days. 

The  following  days  came,  and  with  them  the  most  ter- 
rible certainty  of  my  life.  The  rumors  became  more  and 
more  depressing.  What  I  had  taken  to  be  a  local  affair 
was  now  to  be  a  general  revolution.  To  this  was  added  the 
shameful  news  from  the  front.  One  intended  to  capitulate. 
Why  was  something  of  that  kind  really  possible? 

On  November  10  the  pastor  came  into  the  hospital  for  a 
short  address;  now  we  knew  everything. 

In  utmost  excitement,  I,  too,  was  present  during  the 
short  speech:  The  dignified  old  gentleman  seemed  to 
tremble  very  much  when  he  told  us  that  now  the  House  of 
Hohenzollern  was  no  longer  allowed  to  wear  the  German 
imperial  crown,  that  the  country  had  now  become  a  're- 
public/ and  that  now  one  should  ask  the  Almighty  not  to 
deny  His  blessings  upon  this  change  and  not  to  abandon 
our  people  in  the  time  to  come.  He  certainly  could  not 
help  it,  but  in  a  few  words  he  had  to  remember  the  Royal 
House,  he  wanted  to  praise  its  merits  in  Pomerania,  in 
Prussia,  even  in  the  entire  country  —  and  there  he  began 
to  weep  silently;  but  in  the  small  hall  deepest  depression 
seized  all  hearts,  and  I  believe  that  not  one  eye  was  able 
to  hold  back  the  tears.  But  then  as  the  old  gentleman  tried 
to  continue  and  began  to  tell  us  that  now  we  had  to  end 
the  long  war,  that  even  our  fatherland  would  now  be  sub- 
mitted to  severe  oppressions  in  the  future,  that  now  the 
War  was  lost  and  that  we  had  to  surrender  to  the  mercy  of 
the  victors . . ,  that  the  armistice  should  be  accepted  with 
confidence  in  the  generosity  of  our  previous  enemies . . . 
there  I  could  stand  it  no  more.  It  was  impossible  for  me 
to  stay  any  longer.  While  everything  began  to  go  black 
again  before  my  eyes,  stumbling,  I  groped  my  way  back 
to  the  dormitory,  threw  myself  on  my  cot  and  buried  my 
burning  head  in  the  covers  and  pillows. 


THb  REVOLUTION  267 

I  had  not  wept  since  the  day  I  had  stood  at  the  grave 
of  my  mother.  Whenever  during  my  youth  Fate  handled 
me  roughly,  my  stubbornness  grew;  when  thereafter,  dur- 
ing the  long  years  of  the  War,  Death  called  more  than 
one  of  my  dear  comrades  or  friends  from  our  ranks,  to  me 
it  would  have  seemed  almost  a  sin  to  complain.  They  died 
for  Germany!  And  even  when,  during  the  last  days  of  the 
terrible  struggle,  the  creeping  gas  attacked  me  too  and 
began  to  eat  into  my  eyes,  and  when,  under  the  impact 
of  the  shock  of  fear  of  becoming  blind  forever,  I  was  about 
to  despair  for  a  moment,  the  voice  of  Conscience  thundered 
at  me:  Miserable  wretch,  you  want  to  cry  while  thousands 
are  a  hundred  times  worse  off  than  you;  then  I  bore  my 
fate  apathetically  and  silently.  But  now  I  could  not  help 
it  any  longer,  only  now  I  saw  how  completely  all  personal 
grief  disappears  in  the  face  of  the  fatherland's  disaster. 

Now  all  had  been  in  vain.  In  vain  all  the  sacrifices  and 
deprivations,  in  vain  the  hunger  and  thirst  of  endless 
months,  in  vain  the  hours  during  which,  gripped  by  the 
fear  of  death,  we  nevertheless  did  our  duty,  and  in  vain 
the  death  of  two  millions  who  died  thereby.  Would  not 
the  graves  of  all  the  hundreds  of  thousands  open  up,  the 
graves  of  those  who  once  had  marched  out  with  faith  in 
the  fatherland,  never  to  return?  Would  they  not  open  up 
and  send  the  silent  heroes,  covered  with  mud  and  blood, 
home  as  spirits  of  revenge,  to  the  country  that  had  so 
mockingly  cheated  them  of  the  highest  sacrifice  which  in 
this  world  man  is  able  to  bring  to  his  people?  Was  it  for 
this  that  they  had  died,  the  soldiers  of  August  and  Sep- 
tember, 1914,  was  it  for  this  that  the  regiments  of  volun- 
teers followed  the  old  comrades  in  the  fall  of  the  same 
year?  Was  it  for  this  that  boys  of  seventeen  sank  into 
Flanders  Fields?  Was  that  the  meaning  of  the  sacrifice 
which  the  German  mother  brought  to  the  fatherland  when 
in  those  days,  with  an  aching  heart,  she  let  her  most  b*- 


268  MEIN  KAMPF 

loved  boys  go  away,  never  to  aee  them  again?  Was  it  all 
for  this  that  now  a  handful  of  miserable  criminals  was 
allowed  to  lay  hands  on  the  fatherland? 

Was  it  for  this  that  the  German  soldier  had  persevered 
in  burning  sun  and  in  snowstorms,  suffering  hunger,  thirst, 
and  cold,  tired  by  sleepless  nights  and  endless  marches? 
Was  it  for  this  that  he  had  lain  in  the  hell  of  drum  fire 
and  in  the  fever  of  gas  attacks,  without  receding,  always 
his  sole  duty  in  mind,  to  guard  the  fatherland  against  the 
distress  from  the  enemy? 

Truly,  these  heroes  too  deserve  a  memorial : 

'Wanderer,  ye  who  come  to  Germany,  announce  to  the 
homeland  that  we  are  lying  here,  loyal  to  the  fatherland 
and  faithful  to  duty/ 

And  the  homeland? 

Was  it  only  our  own  sacrifice  which  we  had  to  throw  into 
the  balance?  Was  the  Germany  of  the  past  worthless? 
Was  there  not  also  an  obligation  towards  our  own  history? 
Were  we  still  worthy  of  applying  the  fame  of  the  past  to  us 
also?  How  was  this  deed  to  be  submitted  to  the  future  for 
justification? 

Wretched  and  miserable  criminals! 

The  more  I  tried  to  clarify  this  terrible  event  in  that 
hour,  the  stronger  burned  the  shame  of  indignation  and 
dishonor  on  my  forehead.  What  was  now  all  the  pain  of 
my  eyes  as  compared  with  this  misery? 

What  now  followed  were  terrible  days  and  even  worse 
nights.  Now  I  knew  that  everything  was  lost.  Only  fools  — 
or  liars  and  criminals  —  were  able  to  hope  for  the  mercy 
of  the  enemy.  In  those  nights  my  hatred  arose,  the  hatred 
against  the  originators  of  this  deed. 

In  days  that  followed,  I  became  aware  of  my  own  destiny. 
Now  I  had  to  laugh  at  the  thought  of  my  own  future,  which 
until  recently  had  worried  me  so  much.  Was  it  not  ridicu- 
lous to  wish  to  build  houses  on  such  ground?  Finally  it 


THE  REVOLUTION  269 

also  became  clear  to  me  that  what  happened  was  only 
what  I  had  feared  so  long,  and  which  my  feelings  had  not 
been  able  to  believe. 

Kaiser  Wilhelm  II  was  the  first  German  Emperor  who 
extended  his  hand  to  the  leaders  of  Marxism  without  guess- 
ing that  scoundrels  are  without  honor.  While  they  were 
still  holding  the  imperial  hand  in  their  own,  the  other  was 
feeling  for  the  dagger. 

With  the  Jews  there  is  no  bargaining,  but  only  the 
hard  either  —  or. 

I,  however,  resolved  now  to  become  a  politician. 

It  is  important  to  note  that  Hitler's  hatred  was  not  directed 
primarily  at  the  Treaty  of  Versailles.  That  was  a  mere  minor 
detail  —  a  peace  similar  to  what  Germany  would  have  dic- 
tated had  it  been  victorious.  National  life  is  the  expression  of 
the  law  of  the  survival  of  the  fittest;  only  fools  like  Kurt  Eisner 
would  have  it  otherwise.  The  horrible,  the  detestable,  thing 
was  that  Germany  had  lost  the  War.  Lost  it,  so  ran  the  ex- 
planation, because  of  sabotage  from  within.  Therewith  the 
notion  that  Germany  had  been  stabbed  in  the  back  became  of 
primary  political  importance. 

Some  time  after  the  War,  General  Sir  Neill  Malcolm  was 
dining  with  Ludendorff  in  Berlin,  listening  to  Ludendorff  main- 
tain that  he  had  failed  to  win  the  War  because  of  lack  of  sup- 
port from  the  government.  '  Do  you  mean  you  were  stabbed  in 
the  back?'  the  Englishman  asked.  'Yes,'  was  the  eager  reply, 
'stabbed  in  the  back!1  This  version  of  the  affair  was  then 
offered  by  von  Hindenburg  when  he  appeared  before  the  Com- 
mittee of  Enquiry  which  the  Reichstag  had  appointed  to  find 
out  why  the  War  was  lost.  Speaking  on  November  18,  1919, 
the  Marshal  declared  that  the  Revolution  had  only  been  the 
Mast  straw*  in  a  systematic  process  of  undermining  the  army 
and  that  it  had  been  —  on  the  testimony  of  British  generals  — 
'stabbed  in  the  back.'  (Cf.  The  Wooden  Titan,  by  John  W. 
Wheeler-Bennett.) 

The  appointment  of  this  committee  had  been  necessitated  bv 


870  MEIN  KAMPF 

debates  which  had  deeply  stirred  the  German  Constitutional 
Assembly  at  Weimar.  Nationalists,  led  by  Karl  Helfferich 
(war-time  Minister  of  Finance),  had  denounced  Matthias 
Erzberger,  who  signed  the  armistice,  as  a  traitor  to  his  country. 
Erzberger  replied  in  bitter  speeches  which  for  the  first  time  tore 
the  mask  from  the  methods  employed  by  the  High  Command 
during  the  War.  He  accused  Ludendorff  of  having  undermined 
every  effort  to  reach  a  peace  by  compromise,  and  in  particulai 
of  having  looked  upon  the  entry  of  the  United  States  into  the 
conflict  as  a  mere  bagatelle.  Had  not  Helfferich  said  that  Wil- 
son was  just  in  time  to  pay  the  bills  Germany  had  run  up  for 
military  supplies?  The  effect  of  Erzberger's  speeches  was  tre- 
mendous. Delegates  screamed  and  wept  aloud  as  the  fiery  or- 
ator attacked  Pan-Germanism  as  the  cause  of  national  dis- 
aster. Thereafter  the  issue  became  one  of  central  importance  in 
the  nation's  political  life. 

Immediately  a  campaign  to  ruin  Erzberger  was  started  by 
Helfferich,  and  as  a  result  he  was  compelled  to  retire  from 
public  life.  Neither  the  Centrists  nor  the  Social  Democrats 
realized  at  the  time  how  great  a  blow  the  Republican  cause  had 
suffered ;  and  even  when  Erzberger  was  assassinated  by  a  group 
of  fanatics,  the  import  of  what  had  happened  was  clear  only  to 
a  few.  Soon  the  charge  that  every  member  of  the  Republican 
government  was  a  'November  criminal*  was  being  made  in  a 
great  variety  of  nationalist  journals  or  pamphlets;  and  a  wave 
of  political  murders  swept  over  the  country.  The  Commission 
of  Enquiry  heard  a  great  deal  of  testimony,  which  is  enshrined 
in  many  volumes,  but  reached  few  conclusions.  The  prestige 
of  the  generals  was  still  so  great  that  few  were  in  a  position  to 
challenge  their  authority.  Perhaps  the  major  result  was  that  a 
vigorous  critique  of  General  Ludendorff  s  military  policy  in 
1918  was  read  into  the  record,  Professor  Hans  Delbrueck  con- 
tending that  every  canon  of  the  soldier's  science  had  been 
violated. 

It  was  proved  that  when  the  offensives  of  that  year  were 
begun,  the  army  had  been  in  excellent  condition,  and  that  the 
supply  of  matirid  de  guerre  was  more  than  adequate.  But  on 
August  8  it  had  suffered  a  defeat  described  by  Ludendorff  as 


THE  REVOLUTION  271 

the  'black  day  in  German  history.9  A  few  days  later,  the 
Kaiser  discussed  the  situation  with  his  generals  and  concluded : 
1 1  see,  we  must  add  up  accounts.  We  have  arrived  at  the  limit 
of  our  energies.  The  War  must  be  stopped.'  But  on  August  13 
Ludendorff  insisted  to  the  Chancellor,  Count  von  Hertling, 
that  Germany  could  accept  no  peace  that  did  not  conserve 
German  rights  in  Belgium  and  Poland ;  and  on  the  next  day,  at 
a  Crown  Council  in  Spa,  he  stated  that  the  proper  moment  to 
sue  for  peace  would  have  arrived  as  soon  as  he  had  won  another 
victory  on  the  western  front.  By  the  middle  of  September, 
however,  the  Austrians  were  suing  for  peace  and  the  Mace- 
donian front  had  collapsed.  On  the  2ist  of  the  same  month, 
Ludendorff  requested  the  German  government  to  sound  out 
the  United  States  concerning  peace,  and  followed  this  seven 
days  later  with  a  statement  to  the  effect  that  the  German  situ- 
ation was  so  desperate  that  no  further  delay  was  possible.  The 
effect  of  this  precipitate  action  was  that  the  government,  com- 
pletely taken  by  surprise,  was  half  out  of  its  wits;  and  a  new 
chancellor,  Prince  Max  of  Baden,  was  appointed.  This  change 
was  made  in  accordance  with  the  belief  of  the  Foreign  Office 
that  only  a  'democratic*  government  could  successfully  ap- 
proach President  Wilson.  Unfortunately  the  Social  Democrats 
now  made  a  serious  blunder.  They  refused  to  enter  a  govern- 
ment in  which  the  Conservative  Party  was  represented  —  a 
stipulation  which  was  later,  of  course,  to  give  that  party  a 
chance  to  throw  all  blame  on  the  other  groups. 

While  the  new  chancellor  was  endeavoring  to  sound  out  the 
Allies,  Ludendorff  again  intervened  to  say  that  at  any  moment 
the  enemy  might  break  through  and  that  therefore  a  request 
for  an  armistice  must  be  despatched  immediately.  The  chan- 
cellor insisted  that  time  was  needed  to  negotiate  acceptable 
terms,  again  Ludendorff  countered,  and  thereupon  the  first 
armistice  note  was  despatched  to  Wilson  on  October  3.  Hin- 
denburg's  letter  describing  the  military  situation,  dated  Sep- 
tember 29,  attributed  the  crisis  to  the  breakdown  of  the  Mace- 
donian front  and  the  inability  to  get  troop  replacements.  When 
Walter  Rathenau  suggested,  in  the  Vossische  Zeitung,  a  levie  en 
masse  as  the  only  way  out,  Ludendorff  replied  that  this  would 
do  more  harm  than  good. 


272  MEIN  KAMPF 

But  after  an  exchange  of  notes  between  the  State  Depart- 
ment of  the  United  States  and  the  German  government  had 
shown  that  the  only  terms  Wilson  was  willing  to  grant  were 
harsh,  Ludendorff  changed  his  mind  and  declared  that  a  levie 
m  masse  might  be  resorted  to,  after  all.  But  the  government 
now  felt  that  the  German  people  would  not  understand  such  a 
change  of  face,  that  a  revolution  was  imminent,  and  that  at- 
tempted resistance  would  only  make  matters  worse.  Luden- 
dorff handed  in  his  resignation.  He  was  succeeded  by  General 
Wilhelm  Gr6ner,  who  saw  at  once  that  further  resistance  was 
out  of  the  question.  On  November  8,  the  Kaiser  was  advised  to 
abdicate. 

It  is,  therefore,  apparent  that  Ludendorff  was  sure  the  War 
had  been  lost  before  any  revolutionary  movement  had  broken 
out  in  Germany.  This  view  is  confirmed  by  all  who,  on  the 
Allied  side,  knew  the  situation  that  existed  between  Septem- 
ber 29  and  November  8.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  American 
commanders  were  so  certain  that  a  triumphal  march  on  to 
Berlin  would  cost  relatively  little  that  some  of  them  accepted 
the  armistice  with  bad  grace.  Marshal  Foch  has  often  been 
severely  criticized  (e.g.,  by  General  Mordacq)  for  the  'human- 
itarianism'  which  induced  him  to  end  the  struggle  before  the 
German  border  was  reached.  German  deficiencies  in  supplies, 
man-power,  and  armament  were  so  marked  that,  despite  the 
stubbornness  with  which  picked  troops  defended  themselves, 
any  other  outcome  than  the  utter  rout  of  the  German  army  was 
unthinkable.  In  addition  the  collapse  of  Austria  and  the  break- 
down of  Bulgaria  opened  the  way  for  an  advance  into  southern 
Germany. 

The  major  reasons  why  Germany  lost  the  War  are  seen  as 
inherent  in  the  nature  of  the  political  action  she  sponsored. 
On  this  virtually  all  non-German  students  are  agreed.  The 
only  real  military  issues  are  these :  whether  a  different  handling 
of  the  battle  of  the  Marne  might  not  have  led  to  the  speedy 
defeat  of  France,  and  whether  Ludendorff  could  have  won  the 
Flanders  battles  of  1918  if  he  had  taken  additional  troops  out 
of  Russia.  Neither  query  is  answerable.  But  these  facts  con- 
cerning the  political  situation  are  established:  the  march 


THE  REVOLUTION  273 

through  Belgium  forced  Britain  to  enter  the  War;  the  insistence 
upon  unrestricted  U-boat  warfare  in  1917  induced  the  United 
States  to  enter  the  conflict;  and  the  harsh  terms  of  the  Treaty 
of  Brest-Litovsk  may  have  dissuaded  (cf.  The  Forgotten  Peacv, 
by  John  W.  Wheeler-Bennett)  President  Wilson  from  trying  to 
reach  a  peace  with  Germany  on  the  basis  of  the  'Fourteen 
Points.*  One  may  add  a  number  of  minor  political  misadven- 
tures: the  fantastically  mismanaged  attempt  to  obtain  Polish 
support  by  setting  up  a  vassal  kingdom  of  Poland;  the  murder 
of  Edith  Cavell ;  the  bombing  of  London ;  the  contemptuous  at- 
titude adopted  towards  the  Austrians;  and  the  strange  maneu- 
vers of  Colonel  von  Papen  in  Washington. 

Those  who  deny  the  validity  of  these  contentions  —  and 
they  include  all  Germans  who  cherish  some  fondness  for  the 
Pan-German  program  —  maintain  that  if  so  magnificent  an 
army  failed  under  such  leadership  to  win  the  War,  the  reason 
can  only  lie  within  Germany  itself.  In  essence,  the  credibility 
of  such  a  view  must  be  sought  in  the  realm  of  idea  rather  than 
in  that  of  fact.  The  Prussian  war  machine  was  created  to  be 
the  ideally  perfect  instrument  of  national  action.  If  everything 
that  could  render  it  in  practice  what  it  was  in  theory  had  been 
done,  it  could  not  have  been  defeated.  For  what  is  absolutely 
right  in  conception  must  also  be  absolutely  right  in  practice.  The 
realm  of  the  real  is  only  the  logical  counterpart  of  the  realm 
of  the  ideal.  This  conception  of  the  army  of  1914  is  at  the  back 
of  many  German  minds;  and  a  similar  attitude  of  mind  is  at 
the  bottom  of  the  doubts  entertained  by  many  about  the  army 
of  1938.  They  would  not  argue  that  France  has  a  poorer  or 
better  army  than  Germany's,  but  only  that  the  German  army 
has  defects. 

Now  what  was  wrong  with  the  German  instrument  during 
the  War?  The  answer  is  that,  as  a  result  of  Marxist  agitation, 
germs  of  sabotage  were  introduced  into  the  German  system 
which  developed  into  veritable  cancers;  and  that,  as  a  conse- 
quence of  the  'pacifism'  which  formed  part  of  the  normal 
bourgeois  outlook,  large  sections  of  the  public  were  victims  of 
the  dishonest  alien  propaganda  dispensed  by  President  Wilson 
ahd  others.  Evidence  to  support  these  contentions  was  ad- 


874  MEIN  KAMPF 

vanced  on  three  important  occasions  during  the  history  of  the 
Weimar  Republic;  the  controversy  between  Erzberger  and 
Helfferich  during  1919;  the  Magdeburg  Trial  of  December, 
1924,  when  President  Friederich  Ebert  defended  himself  against 
a  reactionary  journalist's  assertions  that  he  had  committed 
high  treason  by  helping  to  organize  the  Munitions  Strike  of 
1918;  and  the  Munich  'Stab  in  the  Back'  Trial,  conducted 
during  October  and  November,  1925,  at  which  leading  Social 
Democrats  were  the  plaintiffs. 

It  is  impossible  to  do  more  here  than  summarize  very  briefly 
the  facts  and  surmisals  then  advanced.  The  charge  against 
Erzberger  was  that  by  sponsoring  the  Peace  Resolution  of  1917, 
which  disclaimed  any  desire  by  Germany  to  annex  territory  or 
to  hold  other  peoples  under  economic  tutelage,  he  had  under- 
mined the  belief  of  the  German  people  in  ultimate  victory  and 
therewith  weakened  their  morale.  President  Ebert  was  ac- 
cused of  having  sought  to  end  the  War  by  depriving  the  army 
of  needed  munitions;  and  his  enemies  insisted  that  all  along  he 
and  his  fellow-Marxists  had  waited  for  the  chance  to  spring  at 
the  throat  of  a  fatherland  left  prostrate  before  the  enemy. 
The  Munich  Trial  was  far  more  important  because  the  whole 
question  of  Social  Democratic  attitudes  during  and  immediately 
after  the  War  was  threshed  out.  Sensational  testimony  was 
offered  by  General  Gr6ner  and  others. 

The  Erzberger  case  may  be  dismissed;  for  though  it  was  of 
great  importance  to  the  history  of  the  Weimar  Republic,  it 
offers  nothing  to  substantiate  the  'stab  in  the  back'  theory. 
The  Reichstag  Resolution  failed  to  affect  the  conduct  of  the 
War  either  at  home  or  abroad,  and  nothing  Erzberger  did 
checked  in  the  least  either  Ludendorff's  dictatorial  policy  or  the 
flan  of  the  army.  The  second  and  third  cases  are  more  perti- 
nent. As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  Minority  (Independent)  So- 
cialists did  refuse,  as  the  War  went  on,  to  vote  the  necessary 
credits  to  continue  the  conflict;  a  few  of  them  maintained  rela- 
tions with  dissatisfied  sailors,  who  then  provoked  the  mutiny 
of  1918  which  halted  the  German  navy's  projected  sensational 
last-minute  attack  on  the  British  fleet;  and  a  number  were  in- 
volved both  in  the  Munitions  Strike  and  in  the  revolutionary 


THE  REVOLUTION  275 

activities  which  led  to  open  revolt  in  November.  Moreover, 
the  extreme  Spartacist  movement,  which  during  the  War  pub- 
lished subversive  literature  and  which  afterward  led  to  the 
establishment  of  the  Communist  Party,  was  led  by  former 
Socialists  among  whom  Karl  Liebknecht  and  Rosa  Luxemburg 
were  the  most  important. 

It  is  therefore  possible  to  say  that  opposition  to  the  War  did 
exist  inside  Germany,  and  that  efforts  were  made  to  awaken  in 
the  masses  a  spirit  of  resistance  to  the  Kaiser  and  the  High 
Command.  Liebknecht  did  obtain  world-wide  prominence  for 
his  pacifistic  utterances,  which  no  parliamentarian  in  any  Al- 
lied country  duplicated.  Yet  one  notes  immediately  that  the 
anti-war  movement  was  utterly  insignificant  until  late  in  1918, 
when  the  half -starved  population  lost  all  hope  of  victory.  The 
effects  of  the  blockade  were  horrible  and  the  physical  health  as 
well  as  the  morale  of  Germany  suffered  greatly.  When  in 
history  has  a  people  been  called  upon  to  shoulder  a  heavier  bur- 
den, and  when  has  one  responded  to  the  summons  with  such 
astounding  patience? 

Yet  none  of  the  agents  of  subversive  activity  helped  to  form 
the  government  of  November,  1918.  The  men  who  undertook 
that  difficult  task  knew  exactly  what  they  were  doing.  The 
Social  Democrats  had  debated  a  long  while  before  assenting  to 
a  suggestion  that  came  from  the  High  Command  and  the 
Foreign  Office.  Some  of  the  ablest  among  them  were  certain 
that  to  accept  responsibility  under  such  circumstances  would 
later  on  mean  being  charged  with  the  defeat  and  its  conse- 
quences. Ebert  took  up  the  Chancellor's  duties  on  the  basis  of 
a  secret  understanding  with  the  generals,  as  Groner  explained 
at  the  Munich  Trial.  Neither  he  nor  his  fellows  wanted  the 
Revolution.  The  Republic  was  proclaimed,  a  little  hastily,  by 
Philip  Scheidemann  in  order  to  forestall  Liebknecht's  declara- 
tion to  the  same  effect.  The  Minority  Socialists  were,  of  course, 
far  more  pacifistic  and  revolutionary.  Yet  even  the  leading 
members  of  this  group  were  stunned  by  the  sudden  collapse  of 
the  nation  and  were  not  prepared  to  deal  with  the  situation 
thus  created. 

The  most  serious  blot  on  the  national  escutcheon  was  the 


276  MEIN  KAMPF 

mutiny  in  Wilhelmshaven  on  October  30.  This  was  preceded  by 
scattered  instances  of  insubordination  to  some  of  which  politi- 
cal intent  was  ascribed.  Yet  the  situation  was  peculiar. 
Peace  negotiations  were  under  way;  the  abdication  of  the  Kai- 
ser had  been  demanded ;  and  still  the  men  were  ordered  to  get 
ready  for  a  sudden  sortie  which  was  virtual  suicide.  Therefore 
they  had  a  certain  right  to  assume  that  their  own  commanders 
were  guilty  of  insubordination,  and  could  justify  their  conduct 
accordingly.  At  any  rate  the  navy  had  done  its  duty  for  four 
years;  and  to  attribute  Germany's  loss  of  the  War  to  their 
sabotage  of  a  romantic  and  desperate  maneuver  is  to  strain 
credulity  to  the  breaking  point. 


CHAPTER  VIII 

BEGINNING  OF  MY 
POLITICAL  ACTIVITY 


AT  THE  end  of  November,  1918,  I  came  back  to 
Munich.   I  went  again  to  join  the  reserve  battalion 
of  my  regiment  which  was  now  in  the  hands  of 
'Soldiers'  Councils.'   The  entire  business  disgusted  me  to 
such  a  degree  that  I  decided  at  once  to  go  away  again  if 
possible.  Together  with  my  faithful  war  comrade,  Schmiedt 
Ernst,  I  now  came  to  Traunstein  and  remained  there  till 
the  camp  was  broken  up. 

In  March,  1919,  we  again  returned  to  Munich. 

Hitler,  with  no  home  to  which  to  return  —  he  had  been  out 
of  touch  with  his  family  for  years  —  walked  to  Munich,  and 
arrived  there  shortly  after  the  murder  of  Kurt  Eisner,  who  had 
headed  the  revolution  that  had  driven  the  Wittelsbachs  from 
their  thrones  and  had  then  —  up  to  the  time  of  his  assassina- 
tion by  Count  Arco- Valley  —  been  Prime  Minister  of  Bavaria. 
Eisner,  a  Jew  and  not  a  native  Bavarian,  was  an  idealist  who 
had  been  jailed  during  the  War  for  writing  pacifist  tracts.  The 
account  of  his  reign  reads  like  a  fairy  tale.  Refusing  to  curb 
free  speech  or  to  put  through  any  rash  socialization  measures, 
he  set  about  attempting  to  prove  to  the  Allies  that  Germany's 
workers  fully  acknowledged  the  guilt  of  the  former  Imperial 
government  in  starting  the  War  and  were  therefore  entitled  to 


278  MEIN  KAMPF 

The  situation  was  untenable  and  urged  necessarily 
towards  a  further  continuation  of  the  Revolution.  Eisner's 
death  only  hastened  developments  and  led  finally  to  the 
Soviet  dictatorship,  or,  in  other  terms,  to  a  temporary 
reign  of  the  Jews  as  it  had  been  originally  intended  by  the 
originators  of  the  whole  revolution. 

In  those  days  endless  plans  chased  each  other  in  my 
head.  For  days  I  pondered  what  could  be  done  at  all,  but 
the  end  of  all  reflections  was  always  the  sober  conclusion 

a  just  peace.  In  addition  he  proved  himself  a  violent  Bavarian 
particularist,  and  gave  his  government  an  artistic  setting  by 
staging  festivals  at  which  orchestral  overtures  preceded  his 
addresses. 

The  Eisner  regime  was  succeeded  by  a  Socialist  government 
which  in  turn  was  driven  out  of  Munich  by  a  'Soviet  dictator- 
ship.9 This  did  little  except  watch  the  various  factions  which 
comprised  it  fight  one  another.  Just  previously  Sovietism  had 
triumphed  in  Hungary;  and  not  a  few  intellectuals  were  now  of 
the  opinion  that  the  Russian  idea  was  about  to  conquer  the 
world.  Several  Moscow  agents  appeared  in  Munich,  and  two 
of  them  were  Jewish.  In  addition  a  couple  of  unworldly  Jew- 
ish poets,  Ernst  Toller  and  Gustav  Landauer,  joined  the  new 
movement.  This  extraordinary  revolution,  which  the  Munich 
citizenry  welcomed  as  they  would  the  plague,  did  irreparable 
damage  to  the  cause  of  labor  by  murdering  ten  hostages,  mem- 
bers of  a  Rightist  secret  society.  In  addition  Jewish  participa- 
tion in  it  opened  the  doors  to  anti-Semitic  agitation.  Angered 
and  embittered  citizens  were  now  willing  to  ascribe  all  evils  to 
the  Hebrew  race.  Eisner's  example  had  encouraged  other 
dreamers  to  think  that  they,  too,  could  renew  the  face  of  the 
earth. 

Government  troops  were  sent  to  restore  order  in  Munich. 
They  were  joined  by  a  number  of  volunteer  military  organiza- 
tions, and  on  May  2,  1919,  took  the  city  after  a  stiff  fight. 
Frightful  vengeance  was  taken.  Some  estimates  place  the  num- 
ber of  those  shot  with  or  without  court-martial  at  more  than  a 


BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  279 

that  I,  as  one  without  name,  did  not  possess  even  the  least 
presupposition  for  any  useful  activity.  I  will  speak  latei 
on  of  the  reasons  for  which  even  then  I  could  not  make  up 
my  mind  to  join  one  of  the  existing  parties. 

In  the  course  of  the  Councils'  Revolution  I  acted  for  the 
first  time  in  a  manner  which  invoked  the  displeasure  of 
the  Central  Council.  On  April  27,  1919,  early  in  the  morn- 
ing, I  was  supposed  to  be  arrested;  but  in  facing  the  rifle 
I  presented,  the  three  fellows  lacked  the  necessary  courage 
and  marched  away  in  the  same  manner  in  which  they  had 
come. 

A  few  days  after  the  liberation  of  Munich,  I  was  sum- 
moned to  join  a  commission  for  the  examination  of  the 
events  of  the  Revolution  in  the  Second  Infantry  Regiment. 

This  was  my  first  more  or  less  purely  political  activity. 


thousand.  Poor  Landauer  was  among  those  slain.  Therewith 
Bavaria  became  what  it  had  never  previously  been  —  the  most 
reactionary  part  of  Germany.  Inside  its  borders,  Rightist 
rebels  against  the  Republic,  putschists  and  patriotic  assassins 
found  refuge. 

No  doubt  the  major  cause  of  the  whole  sad  affair  was  the  mur- 
der of  Eisner.  He  was  on  his  way  to  the  Bavarian  Landtag,  and 
would  there  have  turned  over  the  government  to  the  Majority 
Socialists,  when  he  was  felled;  and  some  of  his  followers,  not 
knowing  what  forces  were  responsible,  committed  other  mur- 
ders that  led  to  desperate  and  fateful  strife  between  the  factions 
which  alone  could  govern.  To  Count  Arco-  Valley,  whom  he 
imprisoned  in  1933,  Hitler  owes  a  debt  he  can  never  repay. 


The  earliest  reports  concerning  Hitler's  political  activities  arc 
interesting.  He  was  housed  in  barracks  with  a  number  of  '  Red  ' 
soldiers.  When  the  army  took  the  city,  these  barracks  were 
seized,  Hitler  was  first  called  aside,  and  then  every  tenth  man 
was  shot.  The  inference  is  that  he  was  already  in  the  service 
of  the  army. 


880  MEIN  KAMPF 

A  few  weeks  later  I  was  given  orders  to  take  part  in  a 
'course'  which  was  being  held  for  the  members  of  the  army. 
There  the  soldier  was  to  receive  certain  foundations  of 
civic  education.  For  me  the  value  of  the  whole  performance 
lay  in  the  fact  that  now  I  was  given  the  possibility  of  be- 
coming acquainted  with  some  comrades  who  were  of  the 
same  conviction  and  with  whom  I  would  then  be  able  to 
discuss  thoroughly  the  situation  of  the  moment.  All  of  us 
were  more  or  less  firmly  convinced  that  Germany  could  no 
longer  be  saved  from  the  approaching  collapse  by  the 
parties  of  the  November  crime,  the  Center  Party  and 
Social  Democracy,  but  that  even  the  so-called  'bourgeois 
national'  formations  would  never  be  able  to  remedy  this 
despite  their  best  intentions.  Here  quite  a  series  of  assump- 
tions were  lacking,  without  which  such  a  task  could  not 
succeed.  The  time  that  followed  proved  our  opinions  of 
those  days  to  be  right. 

Thus  in  our  small  circle  one  discussed  the  formation  of 
a  new  party.  The  basic  ideas  which  we  had  in  mind 
thereby  were  the  same  which  were  realized  later  on  by  the 
'German  Workers'  Party.'  The  name  of  the  new  move- 
ment to  be  founded  was  to  offer,  from  the  beginning,  the 
possibility  of  approaching  the  great  masses;  for  without 
these  qualities  the  whole  work  seemed  senseless  and  super- 
fluous. Therefore  we  arrived  at  the  name  'Social-Revolu- 
tionary' Party;  this  for  the  reason  that  the  social  ideas  of 
the  new  foundation  indeed  meant  a  revolution. 


He  became  one  of  the  group  of  soldiers  selected  to  receive  in- 
struction in  methods  of  'political  enlightenment.'  Such  courses 
were  normal  in  many  parts  of  Germany  during  the  period  of 
Reichswehr  reorganization.  Cf.  Gen.  L.  R.  G.  Maercker, 
Vom  Kaiserheer  zur  Reichswehr  (From  the  Imperial  Army  to  the 
Reich  Army).  Early  biographers  state  that  Hitler  almost  im- 
mediately attracted  attention. 


BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  281 

But  the  deeper  cause  for  this  was  found  in  the  following: 

No  matter  how  much  I  had  occupied  myself  even  previ- 
ously with  economic  problems,  this  had  always  remained 
more  or  less  within  the  limits  which  resulted  from  consider- 
ing social  questions  in  themselves.  Only  later  this  frame 
expanded  in  consequence  of  my  examining  the  German 
policy  of  alliances.  The  latter  was  to  a  great  extent  the 
result  of  a  wrong  estimation  of  economics,  as  well  as 
the  confusion  about  the  possible  bases  of  a  feeding  of  the 
German  people  in  the  future.  But  all  these  thoughts  were 
still  rooted  in  the  opinion  that  capital  in  every  case  was 
only  the  result  of  labor  and,  therefore,  like  the  latter,  was 
subject  to  the  correction  of  all  those  factors  which  are  either 
able  to  stimulate  or  to  hinder  human  activity.  Therein 
was  supposed  to  be  found  also  the  national  importance  of 
capital,  as  capital  itself  in  turn  was  supposed  to  depend  so 
entirely  upon  the  greatness  of  the  State's,  that  is,  the 
nation's,  liberty  and  power;  that  this  relation  alone  was 
bound  to  lead  to  an  advancement  of  the  State  and  the 
nation  on  the  part  of  capital  out  of  the  mere  urge  for  self- 
preservation  or  increase.  This  dependency  of  capital  upon 
the  independent  and  free  State  forces  it  also  in  its  turn  to 
stand  up  for  this  freedom,  power,  strength,  etc.,  of  the 
nation. 

Therefore,  the  State's  task  towards  capital  was  com- 
paratively simple  and  clear:  it  had  only  to  take  care  that 
the  latter  remained  the  servant  of  the  State  and  did  not 
pretend  to  be  the  master  of  the  nation.  This  attitude, 
therefore,  could  confine  itself  within  two  borderlines:  preser- 
vation of  a  prosperous  national  and  independent  economy 
on  the  one  hand,  securing  social  rights  of  workers  on  the 
other. 

In  previous  times  I  was  not  yet  able  to  recognize  the 
difference  between  this  capital  as  purely  the  ultimate  result 
of  creative  labor  as  compared  with  a  capital  the  existence 


282  MEIN  KAMPF 

and  nature  of  which  rests  exclusively  on  speculation.  For 
this  I  lacked  the  first  stimulation,  for  it  had  not  come  to  me. 

This  now  was  carried  out  thoroughly  by  one  of  the 
various  gentlemen,  lecturing  in  the  course  already  men- 
tioned :  Gottfried  Feder. 

For  the  first  time  in  my  life  I  now  heard  a  discussion, 
in  principle,  of  the  international  exchange  and  loan  capital. 

Immediately  after  I  had  listened  to  Feder's  first  lecture, 
the  idea  flashed  through  my  mind  that  now  at  last  I  had 
found  the  way  to  one  of  the  most  essential  principles  for 
the  foundation  of  a  new  party. 


In  my  eyes,  Feder's  merit  was  that  he  outlined,  with 
ruthless  brutality,  the  character  of  the  stock  exchange  and 

Gottfried  Feder,  engineer  born  in  Wtirzburg,  was  one  of 
many  persons  moved  by  the  disarray  of  post- War  national 
economy  to  solve  the  monetary  problem.  In  the  United  States 
he  would  doubtless  have  urged  the  coinage  of  silver  at  a  ratio  of 
32  to  I.  'Breaking  the  slavery  of  interest  is,'  he  declared,  'the 
steel  axle  round  which  everything  turns.'  The  meaning  is: 
instead  of  taking  up  loans  when  it  needs  money,  the  govern- 
ment should,  when  undertaking  public  works,  issue  treasury 
certificates  of  the  same  value  as  the  value  of  the  structures 
erected.  Thus,  for  example,  a  gas  plant  would  be  worth,  say, 
$1,000,000.  This  value  the  government  could  then  transmute 
into  certificates.  Opponents  pointed  out  that  Feder  erred  in 
assuming  that  money  in  circulation  was  covered  by  real  values 
inside  the  country.  Feder's  most  elaborate  exposition  of  the 
point,  which  he  maintained  was  his  most  original  contribution 
to  Party  doctrine,  is  contained  in  his  Brechung  der  Zinsknecht- 
schaft.  Goebbels'  verdict  on  the  book  is  interesting  but  un- 
translatable: 'Brcchcn  muss  dabei  nur  dcr,  der  diesen  Unsinn 
lesen  muss.'  Other  Nazis  also  attacked  Feder,  but  the  Party 
never  officially  repudiated  him.  After  1933,  however,  he  was 


BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  283 

loan  capital  that  was  harmful  to  economy,  and  that  he 
exposed  the  original  and  eternal  presupposition  of  interest. 
His  arguments  were  so  correct  in  all  fundamental  questions 
that  those  who  criticized  them  from  the  beginning  denied 
less  the  theoretical  correctness  of  the  idea  but  rather  the 
practical  possibility  of  its  execution.  But  what  in  the  eyes 
of  the  others  was  a  weakness  of  Feder's  arguments  was  in 
my  eyes  their  strength. 


fThe  task  of  a  program-maker  is  not  to  state  the  various 
degrees  of  a  matter's  realizability,  but  to  demonstrate  the 
matter  as  such ;  that  means,  he  has  to  care  less  for  the  way 
but  more  for  the  goal.  Hereby  an  idea's  correctness  in 
principle  is  decisive  and  not  the  difficulty  of  its  execution. 

relegated  to  a  minor  r&le.  When  Hitler  began  to  make  impor- 
tant friends,  his  adviser  in  financial  matters  became  Dr.  Paul 
Bang,  an  intimate  friend  of  Dr.  Hugenberg's  and  one  of  the 
directors  of  the  Alldcutschcr  Verband.  After  1933  Dr.  Hjalmar 
Schacht  was  installed  as  the  official  wizard,  to  be  replaced  in 
1938  by  Walther  Funk. 

The  best  brief  commentary  on  the  significance  of  these  mat- 
ters for  National  Socialist  propaganda  we  have  seen  was  writ- 
ten by  Alfred  Braunthal  for  Die  Gcsellschaft,  Vol.  VII,  nr.  12. 
(Decomer  1930).  'The  National  Socialist  movement  has  had 
two  peaks  —  the  first  half  of  1924,  and  the  fall  of  1930.  At  both 
times  there  existed  a  peculiar  economic  situation.  The  first 
half  of  1924  was  the  time  when  the  stabilization  crisis  was  at 
its  worst.  Interest  rates  were  fantastically  high  in  the  money 
market.  During  January  the  rate  was  between  90  and  100  per 
cent,  sinking  then  in  July  to  "only  "  20  per  cent.  At  the  same 
time,  however,  the  Reichsbank  discount  rate  was  only  10  per 
cent.  Thereupon  everything  depended  upon  whether  one  had 
good  banking  connections  and  could,  by  using  these,  get  to  the 
Reichsbank  and  its  cheap  credits.  The  life  and  death  of  an 
enterprise  was  in  the  hands  of  the  bank. 


284  MEIN  KAMPF 

As  soon  as  the  program-maker  tries  to  take  into  account  the 
'useful  reality*  instead  of  absolute  truth,  his  work  will 
cease  to  be  a  pole  star  for  inquiring  mankind,  becomes 
instead  a  prescription  for  everyday  life.  He  who  draws  up 
the  program  of  a  movement  has  to  fix  its  goal,  the  politician 
has  to  aim  towards  the  fulfillment  of  the  goal.  Therefore, 
the  one's  thinking  is  governed  by  eternal  truth,  the  other's 
activity  more  by  practical  reality  of  the  moment.  The 
greatness  of  the  one  is  founded  in  the  absolute  and  abstract 
correctness  of  his  idea,  that  of  the  other  in  the  right  attitude 
towards  given  facts  and  their  useful  application,  whereby 
the  aim  of  the  program-maker  has  to  serve  as  his  leading 
star.  While  a  politician's  plans  and  acts  —  that  means  their 
becoming  reality  —  may  be  looked  upon  as  the  touchstone 
for  his  importance,  the  program-maker's  ultimate  intention 
can  never  be  realized,  as  the  human  mind  is  well  able  to 
grasp  facts  of  truth  and  to  establish  crystal-clear  goals, 
but  their  complete  execution  will  necessarily  fail  because 
of  the  general  human  incompleteness  and  inadequacy.  The 
more  abstractly  right  and  therefore  powerful  this  idea 
may  be,  the  more  impossible  remains  its  complete  fulfill- 
ment as  long  as  it  depends  on  human  beings.  Therefore 
the  program-maker's  importance  must  not  be  measured  by 

'In  1930  also  the  interest  rates  for  long-term  credits  were, 
despite  the  depression,  almost  as  high  as  they  had  been  during 
the  boom  period  (when  the  rates  were  unduly  high  even  for 
such  times).  And  again  the  Reichsbank  discount  rates  were 
much  lower.  Therefore  the  producers  of  consumers'  goods  and 
the  merchants  (by  reason  of  their  inventories)  suffered  under 
the  heaviest  interest  burden,  in  relation  to  the  general  economic 
situation,  during  1924  and  1930.  The  middle  classes  naturally 
felt  it  most,  since  its  members  could  less  easily  find  the  way  to 
the  sources  of  credit.  For  this  reason  the  middle  classes  turned 
with  pleasure  in  such  periods  to  a  movement  which  promised  to 
"break  the  slavery  of  interest." ' 


BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  285 

the  fulfillment  of  his  aims,  but  rather  by  their  correctness 
and  the  influence  which  they  have  taken  on  in  the  develop- 
ment  of  mankind.  If  it  were  different,  one  could  not  count 
the  founders  of  religions  among  the  greatest  men  on  this 
earth,  since  the  fulfillment  of  their  ethical  intentions  can 
never  be  even  a  nearly  complete  one.  Even  the  religion  of 
love,  in  its  effects,  is  only  a  weak  reflection  of  the  volition 
of  its  sublime  founder;  but  its  importance  is  to  be  sought  in 
the  orientation  which  it  tried  to  give  to  a  cultural,  ethical, 
and  moral  development  in  general. 

The  extremely  great  difference  in  the  tasks  of  the  pro- 
gram-maker and  the  politician  is  also  the  reason  why  a 
combination  of  both  in  one  person  is  almost  never  to  be 
found.  This  may  be  said  especially  of  the  so-called  '  success- 
ful '  small  politicians  whose  activity  is  for  the  most  part  only 
an  'art  of  the  possible9  as  Bismarck  described,  somewhat 
modestly,  politics  in  general.  The  freer  such  a  'politician* 
keeps  himself  from  great  ideas,  the  easier  and  frequently 
also  the  more  visible,  yet  always  faster,  will  his  successes  be. 
Of  course,  they  are  thereby  also  subject  to  worldly  evanes- 
cence and  sometimes  they  do  not  outlive  the  death  of  their 
fathers.  The  work  of  such  politicians  is,  on  the  whole,  un- 
important for  posterity,  since  their  successes  in  the  present 
are  based  only  on  warding  off  all  really  great  and  incisive 
problems  and  ideas,  which  as  such  would  also  have  been  of 
value  for  coming  generations. 

The  execution  of  such  aims  as  are  of  value  and  importance 
for  the  distant  future  brings  little  reward  to  him  who  de- 
fends them  and  finds  little  understanding  with  the  great 
masses  who,  at  the  first,  understand  enactments  concerning 
beer  and  milk  better  than  farseeing  plans  for  the  future,  the 
execution  of  which  could  arrive  only  later  on,  but  the  use- 
fulness of  which  would  be  of  value  only  to  posterity. 

Thus,  out  of  a  certain  vanity  which  is  always  a  relative 
of  stupidity,  the  great  mass  of  all  politicians  will  keep  away 


286  MEIN  KAMPF 

from  all  really  difficult  plans  for  the  future,  in  order  not  to 
lose  the  sympathy  of  the  mob  of  the  present.  The  success 
and  the  importance  of  such  politicians  are  to  be  found, 
therefore,  exclusively  in  the  present  and  they  do  not  exist 
for  posterity.  For  little  minds  this  is  not  embarrassing ;  they 
are  content  with  this. 

With  the  program-maker  the  situation  is  different.  His 
importance  lies  always  almost  exclusively  in  the  future,  as 
not  infrequently  he  is  what  is  described  by  the  words  'se- 
cluded from  the  world.'  For,  if  the  politician's  art  may  be 
looked  upon  really  as  an  art  of  the  possible,  then  the  pro- 
gram-maker may  be  counted  among  those  of  whom  it  is 
said  that  the  gods  like  them  only  if  they  ask  for,  and  desire, 
the  impossible.  Nearly  always  he  will  have  to  renounce 
the  recognition  of  the  present,  but  in  turn  he  will  harvest, 
provided  his  ideas  are  immortal,  the  fame  of  posterity. 

During  long  periods  of  human  life  it  thus  may  sometime 
happen  that  the  politician  unites  with  the  program-maker. 
But  the  closer  this  amalgamation  is,  the  greater  are  the 
obstacles  which  resist  the  politician's  work.  Then  he  works 
no  longer  for  the  requirements  which  are  clear  to  any  philis- 
tine,  but  for  aims  which  are  understood  only  by  few.  There- 
fore his  life  is  torn  between  love  and  hate.  The  protest  of 
the  present,  which  does  not  understand  this  man,  wrestles 
with  the  acknowledgment  of  posterity  for  which,  after  all, 
he  works. 

For  the  greater  a  man's  works  for  the  future  are,  the  less 
is  the  present  able  to  understand  them,  and  the  more  diffi- 
cult also  is  the  fight  and  the  more  rare  the  success.  But  if, 
nevertheless,  in  the  course  of  centuries  one  man  succeeds  in 
this,  then  he  may  perhaps,  in  his  later  years,  be  surrounded 
by  a  faint  glimmer  of  the  coming  glory.  But  these  great 
ones  are  only  the  marathon  runners  of  history;  the  laurel 
wreath  of  the  present  only  just  touches  the  temples  of  the 
dying  hero. 


BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  28? 

But  among  them  must  be  counted  the  great  fighters  in 
this  world,  those  who,  although  not  understood  by  their 
time,  are  nevertheless  ready  to  fight  the  battle  for  their  ideas 
and  ideals.  They  are  those  who  once  will  be  nearest  to  the 
heart  of  the  people;  it  almost  seems  as  though  everyone 
would  then  feel  it  his  duty  now  to  make  good  in  the  present 
what  the  past  had  once  sinned  against  the  great.  Their 
life  and  work  is  followed  in  touchingly  grateful  admiration, 
and  especially  in  gloomy  days,  it  will  be  able  to  uplift 
broken  hearts  and  despairing  souls. 

These,  however,  are  not  only  the  really  great  statesmen, 
but  also  all  other  great  reformers.  Side  by  side  with  Fred- 
erick the  Great  stands  a  Martin  Luther  as  well  as  a  Richard 
Wagner.  <• 

When  listening  to  Gottfried  Feder's  first  lecture  about  the 
*  Breaking  of  the  Tyranny  of  Interest,'  I  knew  immediately 
that  the  question  involved  was  a  theoretical  truth  which 
would  reach  enormous  importance  for  the  German  people's 
future.  The  sharp  separation  of  the  stock  exchange  capital 
from  the  national  economy  offered  the  possibility  of  fighting 
the  internationalization  of  German  economic  life,  without 
threatening  with  the  fight  against  capital  in  general,  also 
the>l>asis  of  an  independent  folk  autonomy.  Germany's  de- 
velopment already  stood  before  my  eyes  too  clearly  for  me 
not  to  know  that  the  hardest  battle  had  to  be  fought,  not 
against  hostile  nations,  but  rather  against  international  cap- 
ital. In  Feder's  lecture  I  sensed  a  powerful  slogan  for  this 
coming  fight. 

But  here,  too,  the  later  development  proved  how  correct 
our  feeling  of  those  days  was.  Today  we  are  no  longer 
laughed  at  by  the  sly-boots  of  our  bourgeois  politicians; 
today  even  they,  provided  they  are  not  conscious  liars,  see 
that  the  international  stock  exchange  capital  was  not  only 
the  great  instigator  of  war,  but  that  just  now,  after  the 
fight  has  been  ended,  it  does  not  refrain  from  turning  peace 
into  hell. 


888  MEIN  KAMPF 

The  fight  against  international  finance  and  loan  capital 
has  become  the  most  important  point  in  the  program  of  the 
German  nation's  fight  for  its  independence  and  freedom. 

But  as  regards  the  objections  of  the  so-called  'practi- 
cians/ one  can  give  the  following  answer:  all  your  fears 
about  the  terrible  economic  consequences  of  carrying  out 
the  'breaking  of  the  tyranny  of  interest'  are  superfluous; 
because,  first  of  all,  the  prescriptions  you  gave  the  German 
people  so  far  have  not  done  it  any  good  at  all;  your  attitude 
towards  the  questions  of  national  autonomy  remind  us  very 
much  of  the  reports  of  similar  experts  of  times  past,  for 
example  of  the  Bavarian  Medical  Board  on  occasion  of  the 
question  of  introducing  the  railroads;  it  is  well  known  that 
all  the  fears  of  this  venerable  corporation  of  those  days  were 
never  justified;  the  passengers  in  the  trains  of  the  new 
'steam  horse'  did  not  become  dizzy,  the  spectators,  too, 
were  not  taken  ill,  and  one  abandoned  the  wooden  fences 
for  making  the  new  institution  invisible;  only  the  wooden 
fence  in  the  head  of  all  the  so-called  'experts'  was  preserved 
for  posterity. 

Secondly,  however,  one  should  remember  the  following: 
every  and  even  the  best  idea  becomes  a  danger  as  soon  as  it 
pretends  to  be  an  end  in  itself,  but  in  reality  only  represents 
a  means  to  an  end;  but  for  myself  and  all  true  National 
Socialists  there  is  only  one  doctrine:  people  and  country. 

What  we  have  to  fight  for  is  the  security  of  the  existence  and 


The  meaning  of  'international  capital'  at  this  time  was 
'capitalistic  England.1  Party  philosophers  saw  in  perfidious 
Albion  a  spider  in  a  counting-house.  With  the  help  of  smaller 
Jewish  spiders,  it  had  enmeshed  Germany  in  its  net  and  de- 
voured it.  France  was  looked  upon  as  a  mere  tool  in  the  hands 
of  the  London  'City.'  Gradually  the  term  took  on  other  mean- 
ings: the  authors  of  the  Dawes  and  Young  Plans,  investors  in 
German  bonds,  and  great  speculators  like  Ivan  Kreuger. 


BEGINNING  OF  MY  POLITICAL  ACTIVITY  289 

the  increase  of  our  race  and  our  people,  the  nourishment  of  its 
children  and  the  preservation  of  the  purity  of  the  blood,  the  free- 
dom and  independence  of  the  fatherland  in  order  to  enable  our 
people  to  mature  for  the  fulfillment  of  the  mission  which  the 
Creator  of  the  universe  has  allotted  also  to  them. 

Every  thought  and  every  idea,  every  doctrine  and  all 
knowledge,  have  to  serve  this  purpose.  From  this  point  of 
view  everything  has  to  be  examined  and  to  be  employed  or 
to  be  rejected  according  to  its  usefulness.  Thus  no  theory 
can  stiffen  into  a  mortal  doctrine,  since  everything  serves 
only  for  life. 

Gottfried  Feder's  conclusions,  however,  were  the  cause 
which  made  me  occupy  myself  thoroughly  with  this  domain 
which  had  hitherto  been  little  familiar  to  me. 

Now  I  began  to  learn  again,  and  now  for  the  first  time  I 
came  to  the  understanding  of  the  contents  and  the  meaning 
of  the  life-work  of  the  Jew  Karl  Marx.  Only  now  his  '  Cap- 
ital f  became  really  comprehensible  to  me,  as  well  as  Social 
Democracy's  fight  against  the  national  economy,  the  aim  of 
which  is  to  prepare  the  ground  for  its  domination  of  the 
truly  international  finance  and  stock  exchange  capital. 


But  these  courses  had  the  greatest  effective  consequence 
in  still  another  direction. 

One  day  I  wanted  to  speak  in  the  discussion.  One  of  the 
participants  thought  it  his  duty  to  enter  the  lists  for  the 
Jews,  and  he  began  to  defend  them  in  lengthy  arguments. 
This  aroused  me  to  reply.  An  overwhelming  number  of  the 
pupils  who  were  present  were  of  my  point  of  view.  The 
result  was  that  a  few  days  later  I  was  ordered  to  report  to 
one  of  the  erstwhile  Munich  regiments  as  a  so-called  'in- 
struction officer.' 

In  those  days  the  discipline  among  the  troops  was  still 
rather  weak.  It  suffered  from  the  after-effects  of  the  period 


290  MEIN  KAMPF 

of  Soldiers'  Councils.  Only  very  slowly  and  cautiously 
could  one  change  over  to  introducing,  instead  of  the  'volun- 
tary' obedience  —  as  one  so  nicely  named  the  pigsty  under 
the  rule  of  Kurt  Eisner  —  military  discipline  and  subordi- 
nation. In  the  same  way  the  unit  was  now  to  learn  to  feel 
and  to  think  in  terms  of  nation  and  fatherland.  In  these 
two  directions  lay  the  domains  of  my  new  activity. 

I  started  full  of  ambition  and  love.  For  thus  I  was  at 
once  offered  the  opportunity  to  speak  before  a  large  audi- 
ence; and  what  previously  I  had  always  presumed,  merely 
out  of  pure  feeling  without  knowing  it,  occurred  now:  I 
could  'speak.'  My  voice  also  had  already  improved  so 
much  that  I  could  be  heard  sufficiently  at  least  in  the  small 
squad  rooms. 

No  other  task  could  make  me  happier  than  this  one, 
because  now  I  was  able,  even  before  my  discharge,  to  render 
useful  services  to  that  institution  which  had  been  infinitely 
near  to  my  heart,  the  army. 

Also,  I  could  speak  of  some  success. 

I  thus  led  back  many  hundreds,  probably  even  thousands, 
in  the  course  of  my  lectures  to  their  people  and  fatherland. 
I  'nationalized'  the  troops,  and  in  this  way  I  was  able  also 
to  help  to  strengthen  the  general  discipline. 

Again  I  became  thereby  acquainted  with  a  number  of 
comrades  with  the  same  convictions  who  later  began  to 
form  the  basic  stock  of  the  new  movement. 


CHAPTER  IX 
THE  GERMAN  WORKERS1  PARTY 


ONE  day  I  received  orders  from  my  headquarters  to 
find  out  what  was  behind  an  apparently  political 
society  which,  under  the  name  of  '  German  Workers' 
Party,'  intended  to  hold  a  meeting  on  one  of  the  following 
days,  in  which  also  Gottfried  Feder  was  supposed  to  speak; 
I  was  to  go  there  and  to  look  at  the  society  and  to  report 
upon  it. 

One  could  easily  understand  the  curiosity  which  in  those 
days  the  army  showed  towards  political  parties.  Revolu- 
tion had  bestowed  the  right  of  political  activity  on  the  sol- 
dier, and  now  those  of  them  who  were  least  experienced 
made  ample  use  of  it.  Only  in  the  moment  when  the  Center 
Party  and  Social  Democracy  had  to  realize,  to  their  regret, 
that  the  soldiers'  sympathy  began  to  turn  away  from  the 
revolutionary  parties  towards  the  national  movement  and 
resurrection,  one  saw  fit  to  deprive  the  soldiers  again  of  the 
right  of  franchise  and  to  forbid  political  activity. 

It  was,  therefore,  clear  that  the  Center  Party  and  Marx- 
ism took  up  this  measure,  for,  if  one  had  not  undertaken 
this  curtailment  of  'civil  rights'  (as  one  called  the  political 
equality  of  the  soldier  before  the  Revolution),  there  would 
have  been  no  revolution  a  few  years  later,  and  therefore 
also  no  further  national  degradation  and  dishonor.  In 


292  MEIN  KAMPF 

those  days  the  troops  were  well  on  the  way  towards  reliev- 
ing the  nation  of  its  bloodsuckers  and  the  Entente's  handy- 
men in  the  interior.  That  now  also  the  so-called  'national9 
parties  voted  enthusiastically  for  the  correction  of  the  pre- 
vious opinions  of  the  November  criminals,  and  thus  helped 
to  render  innocuous  the  instrument  of  the  national  rising, 
only  shows  where  the  purely  doctrinary  ideas  of  these  most 
harmless  of  the  harmless  could  lead  to.  The  bourgeoisie, 
which  was  really  suffering  from  mental  senility,  was,  in  all 
sincerity,  of  the  opinion  that  now  the  army  would  again 
become  what  it  had  been,  namely,  a  stronghold  of  German 
fighting  power,  while  Center  and  Marxism  thought  only  to 
break  out  its  dangerous  national  poisonous  fang,  without 
which,  however,  an  army  will  forever  remain  only  'police/ 
but  will  not  be  a  'troop'  able  to  fight  against  the  foreign 
enemy;  something  that  later  on  was  amply  proved. 

Or  did  perhaps  our  '  national  politicians '  believe  that  the 
army's  development  could  be  other  than  national?  That 
really  would  be  just  like  them.  But  this  is  the  consequence 
of  the  fact  that,  instead  of  being  a  soldier  in  the  War,  one 
is  a  babbler,  that  means  a  parliamentarian,  and  that  one 
has  no  idea  what  goes  on  in  the  minds  of  men  who  are 
reminded  by  the  most  glorious  past  that  they  were  once  the 
first  soldiers  of  the  world. 

Thus  I  decided  to  go  to  the  abovementioned  meeting  of 
that  party  which  was  until  then  still  entirely  unknown  to 
me. 

When  in  the  evening  I  entered  the  'Leiber'  room  which 
later  on  was  to  become  of  historical  importance  for  us,  of 
the  former  Sterneckerbrau  in  Munich,  I  met  there  about 
twenty  to  twenty-five  people,  chiefly  from  among  the  lower 
walks  of  life. 

Feder's  lecture  was  already  familiar  to  me  from  the 
courses,  and  therefore  I  could  devote  myself  to  looking  at 
the  assembly  proper. 


THE  GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY  293 

Its  impression  on  me  was  neither  good  nor  bad;  a  new 
foundation  like  so  many  others.  It  was  the  time  when  every- 
one who  was  dissatisfied  with  the  development  things  had 
taken  so  far,  and  who  no  longer  had  confidence  in  the 
existing  parties,  felt  called  upon  to  launch  a  new  party. 
Thus  such  societies  sprang  up  everywhere,  only  to  disap- 
pear again  silently  after  some  time.  The  founders,  in  most 
cases,  had  no  idea  what  it  means  to  develop  a  society  into 
a  party  or  even  into  a  movement.  Thus  these  foundations 
nearly  always  suffocated  in  their  ridiculous  bourgeois  at- 
mosphere. 

After  listening  for  about  two  hours  I  did  not  judge  the 
4  German  Workers'  Party '  from  any  different  point  of  view. 
I  was  glad  when  Feder  finally  finished.  I  had  seen  enough 
and  was  just  about  to  go  when  the  open  discussion,  which 

In  Bavaria  after  the  War  strong  groups,  particularly  among 
the  peasants,  came  to  the  conclusion  that  Germany  was  ir- 
retrievably lost,  and  that  the  sole  hope  was  to  erect  a  Bavarian 
State,  larger,  if  possible,  than  the  Bavaria  of  pre-iSyo  days.  It 
was  also  believed  that  if  such  a  State  were  formed,  it  would  be 
granted  concessions  in  the  matter  of  reparations.  The  chief 
protagonist  of  these  ideas  was  Dr.  Georg  Heim,  a  Center  Party 
politician  with  a  great  following  among  the  peasants.  He 
sounded  out  President  Wilson  on  the  probable  attitude  of  the 
Allies  towards  a  separate  Bavaria,  and  made  a  considerable 
effort  to  persuade  Austria  —  the  Tyrol  in  particular  —  to 
join  the  projected  State.  Nothing  came  of  it,  first  of  all  because 
the  Crown  Prince  kept  aloof.  But  the  agitation  did  have  one 
consequence  of  fateful  import  —  the  separation  of  the  Bavarian 
People's  Party  from  the  Center  Party,  and  therewith  the  weak- 
ening of  the  position  of  Catholics  in  the  Reich  as  a  whole.  la 
the  initial  appeal  issued  by  the  sundered  group,  it  was  pro- 
claimed that  Germany  was  only  a  'uniting  of  the  German 
States  on  a  federal  basis,'  that  any  Constitution  adopted  by  the 
nation  as  a  whole  would  need  ratification  by  the  separate 


294  MEIN  KAMPF 

was  announced  at  that  moment,  made  me  decide  to  stay 
after  all.  But  here  also  everything  seemed  to  take  an  unim- 
portant course,  till  suddenly  a  'professor'  was  given  the 
floor  who  first  expressed  doubts  of  the  correctness  of  Feder's 
reasons,  and  then,  after  the  latter  had  replied  very  ably, 
planted  himself  on  the  ground  of '  facts,'  not  without  recom- 
mending, however,  to  the  young  party  to  take  up  the 
'severance'  of  Bavaria  from  'Prussia'  as  an  especially  im- 
portant point  of  the  party  program.  The  man  had  the 
cheek  to  pretend  that,  in  that  case,  German  Austria  espe- 
cially would  immediately  link  itself  to  Bavaria,  and  that 
then  the  peace  would  be  a  far  better  one,  and  other  similar 
nonsense.  Thereupon  I  could  not  help  but  announce  my 
intention  to  speak,  in  order  to  give  this  learned  man  my 
opinion  on  this  point,  with  the  result  that  the  gentleman 
who  had  just  spoken  left  the  scene  like  a  drenched  poodle, 
even  before  I  had  finished.f  When  I  spoke  they  had  listened 
with  astonished  faces,  and  only  when  I  was  about  to  say 
good-night  to  the  assembly,  a  man  came  running  after  me, 
introduced  himself  (I  even  did  not  understand  his  name, 
correctly),  and  handed  me  a  small  booklet,  obviously  a 
political  pamphlet,  with  the  urgent  request  that  I  read 
this  by  all  means. 
This  was  very  agreeable  to  me,  for  now  I  could  hope  that 

States,  and  that  Bavaria  would  join  the  Reich  only  on  the  con- 
dition that  the  especial  political,  cultural,  and  economic  rights 
to  which  it  was  entitled  were  respected  'in  constitutional  law.' 
It  was  a  spokesman  for  this  point  of  view  whom  Hitler  ha- 
rangues out  of  the  meeting  like  a  'drenched  poodle.' 

Hitler  had  now  proved  that  he  could  'orate*  as  effectively  as 
Feder  and  the  other  instructors  appointed  by  his  military 
superiors,  one  of  whom  —  a  Captain  Mayr  —  later  on  joined 
the  Social  Democratic  Party  and  the  military  organization  (the 
Rcichsbanncr)  associated  with  it. 


THE  GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY  295 

perhaps  in  this  way  I  could  become  acquainted  with  this 
boring  society  in  an  easier  manner,  without  being  forced 
again  to  attend  such  interesting  meetings.  For  the  rest, 
this  man  who  was  apparently  a  worker,  had  made  a  good 
impression  on  me.  With  this  now  I  went  away. 

In  those  days  I  still  lived  in  the  barracks  of  the  Second 
Infantry  Regiment,  in  a  tiny  room  which  still  showed  very 
clearly  the  traces  of  the  Revolution.  During  the  day  I  was 
out,  mostly  with  the  Rifle  Regiment  4,  or  at  meetings  or 
lectures  with  some  other  army  unit,  etc.  Only  at  night  I 
slept  in  my  quarters.  As  I  used  to  wake  up  in  the  morning 
before  five  o'clock,  I  had  gotten  into  the  habit  of  throwing 
pieces  of  bread  or  hard  crusts  to  the  little  mice  which  spent 
their  time  in  the  small  room,  and  then  to  watch  these  droll 
little  animals  romp  and  scuffle  for  these  few  delicacies.  I 
had  already  known  so  much  misery  during  my  lifetime  that 
I  was  able  to  imagine  only  too  well  the  hunger,  and  there- 
fore also  the  pleasure,  of  the  little  things. 

On  the  morning  after  this  meeting,  towards  five  o'clock, 
I  was  lying  awake  in  my  cot  and  looking  at  this  bustle  and 
activity.  Since  I  could  not  go  to  sleep  again,  I  suddenly 
thought  of  the  previous  evening,  and  now  I  remembered  the 
booklet  which  the  worker  had  given  to  me.  And  so  I  began 


3  The  author  of  this  pamphlet  was  Anton  Drexler,  a  simple  and 
sickly  man  who  had  been  declared  unfit  for  military  service.  A 
few  copies  of  the  brochure  have  been  preserved.  Its  principal 
argument  was  that  the  German  worker  must  turn,  if  he  hoped 
for  a  decent  livelihood,  from  internationalism  to  nationalism. 
If  he  remained  addicted  to  the  first,  he  would  forever  be  gouged 
by  a  hostile  international  finance.  During  the  War  Drexler  had 
joined  the  Vaterlandspartei  and  so  expressed  his  disapproval 
of  the  Reichstag  Peace  Resolution  of  1917.  He  called  his  first 
unit  *  Freier  Arbeiterauschuss  fuer  einen  guten  Frieden*  (Com- 
mittee of  Free  Workers  for  a  Good  Peace) ;  and  after  the  War  he 


296  MEIN  KAMPF 

to  read.  It  was  a  little  pamphlet  in  which  the  author,  this 
particular  worker,  described  how,  out  of  the  medley  of 
Marxist  and  unionist  phrases,  he  again  arrived  at  thinking 
in  national  terms;  this  explained  the  title,  'My  Political 
Awakening/  Once  I  had  started,  I  read  the  entire  little 
document  with  interest;  for  in  it  an  event  was  reflected 
which  I  had  gone  through  personally  in  a  similar  way 
twelve  years  ago.  Involuntarily  I  saw  thus  my  own  devel- 
opment come  to  life  again  before  my  eyes.-^  In  the  course 
of  the  day  I  thought  about  it  several  times  and  was  finally 
just  about  to  put  it  away  when,  less  than  a  week  later,  to 
my  astonishment,  I  received  a  postcard  with  the  news  that 
I  had  been  accepted  as  a  member  of  the  '  German  Workers' 
Party';  I  was  requested  to  express  my  opinion  about  this, 
and  for  that  purpose  I  was  expected  to  come  to  a  committee 
meeting  of  the  party  on  the  following  Wednesday. 

I  was  actually  more  than  astonished  at  this  manner  of 
'winning'  members,  and  I  did  not  know  whether  to  be  an- 
noyed or  to  laugh  at  it.  I  had  no  intention  of  joining  a 


changed  the  name  to  'Deutsche  Arbeiterpartei'  (German  Work- 
ers' Party).  A  few  similar  groups  sprang  up  here  and  there  in 
Germany,  advocating  a  Socialistic  program  to  be  realized  out- 
side the  Marxist  sphere  because  internationalism  had  failed. 
The  most  famous  exponent  of  this  point  of  view  in  North  Ger- 
many was  to  be  August  Winnig. 

The  chairman  of  the  German  Workers'  Party  was  Karl 
Harrer,  a  journalist  who  almost  from  the  beginning  took  a  dis- 
like to  Hitler.  He  was  opposed  to  violent  anti-Semitism  (as 
were  the  majority  of  Germans  in  that  time),  and  he  was  not  a 
man  to  wield  the  bayonet  too  ferociously.  A  year  went  by  be- 
fore the  recalcitrant  Harrer  could  be  ousted  from  his  position. 
In  retrospect  the  historian  must  conclude:  at  that  time  the 
question  was  not  merely  whether  Hitler  would  join  the  Party 
but  whether  the  Party  would  have  Hitler. 


THE  GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY  291 

ready-made  party,  but  wished  to  found  a  party  of  my  own. 
This  unreasonable  demand  was  really  out  of  the  question 
for  me. 

I  was  just  about  to  send  the  gentlemen  my  written  reply, 
when  curiosity  gained  the  upper  hand  and  I  decided  to 
appear  on  the  day  fixed  in  order  to  define  my  reasons  orally. 

Wednesday  arrived.  The  restaurant  in  which  the  said 
meeting  was  to  take  place  was  the  Alte  Rosenbad  in  the 
Herrenstrasse;  a  very  poor  restaurant,  to  which  only  once 
in  a  blue  moon  somebody  seemed  to  find  his  way  by  mis- 
take. This  was  not  surprising  in  the  year  1919,  when  the 
menus  of  even  the  larger  restaurants  were  able  to  attract 
customers  but  very  modestly  and  poorly.  But  until  then 
I  had  not  known  this  inn  at  all. 

I  passed  through  the  sparsely  lit  guestroom  where  not 
a  soul  was  present,  looked  for  the  door  to  the  adjoining 
room,  and  then  I  was  face  to  face  with  the  'meeting.9  In 
the  twilight  of  a  half-demolished  gas  lamp  four  young 
people  were  sitting  at  a  table,  among  them  also  the  author 
of  the  little  booklet,  who  immediately  greeted  me  in  the 
most  friendly  terms  and  welcomed  me  as  a  new  member  of 
the  'German  Workers'  Party.' 

Now  I  was  somewhat  taken  aback.  As  I  was  informed 
that  the  actual '  Chairman  for  the  organization  in  the  Reich ' 
was  still  to  come,  I  intended  holding  back  my  explanation. 
The  latter  finally  appeared.  He  was  the  chairman  of  the 
meeting  in  the  SterneckerbrSu  on  the  occasion  of  Feder's 
lecture. 

Meanwhile  my  curiosity  was  again  aroused  and  I  was  full 
of  expectation  for  the  things  to  come.  Now  I  finally  learned 
the  names  of  the  various  gentlemen.  The  chairman  of  the 
'organization  in  the  Reich'  was  a  Herr  Harrer,  that  of  the 
Munich  district,  Anton  Drexler. 

Now  the  minutes  of  the  last  session  were  read,  and  the 
confidence  of  the  assembly  was  expressed  to  the  secretary t 


298  MEIN  KAMPF 

Next  followed  the  treasury  report  (there  were  all  in  all 
7  Marks  and  50  Pfennings  in  the  possession  of  the  party), 
for  which  the  assurance  of  the  general  confidence  was  ex- 
pressed to  the  treasurer.  Now  this  again  was  put  down  in 
the  minutes.  Then  followed  the  First  Chairman's  reading 
of  the  answers  to  a  letter  from  Kiel  to  one  from  Diisseldorf 
and  to  one  from  Berlin;  everybody  agreed  to  them.  Now 
the  documents  received  were  read :  a  letter  from  Berlin,  one 
from  Diisseldorf,  and  one  from  Kiel,  the  arrival  of  which 
seemed  to  be  accepted  with  great  satisfaction.  One  ex- 
plained this  growing  correspondence  as  the  best  and  most 
visible  symptom  of  the  spreading  importance  of  the  'Ger- 
man Workers '  Party.'  Then  a  lengthy  discussion  about  the 
answers  to  be  made  took  place. 

Terrible,  terrible;  this  was  club-making  of  the  worst  kind 
and  manner.  And  this  club  I  now  was  to  join? 

Then  the  new  memberships  were  discussed,  that  means, 
my  being  caught. 

Now  I  began  to  ask  questions.  Apart  from  a  few  leading 
principles,  nothing  existed;  no  party  program,  no  leaflets, 
nothing  in  print  at  all,  no  membership  cards,  not  even  a 
miserable  rubber  stamp;  only  visibly  good  faith  and  good 
will. 

My  smile  had  disappeared  again,  for  what  was  all  this 
but  the  typical  symptom  of  utter  helplessness  and  complete 
despair  covering  all  previous  parties,  their  programs,  their 
intentions  and  their  activities?  What  made  these  four 
young  people  come  together  to  an  outwardly  so  ridiculous 
activity  was  actually  only  the  expression  of  their  inner 
voice  which,  emotionally  rather  than  consciously,  made  all 
the  previous  doings  of  parties  appear  as  no  longer  suitable 
for  a  rise  of  the  German  nation  as  well  as  for  the  healing  of 
its  internal  damages.  I  quickly  read  through  the  leading 
principles  which  were  available  in  a  typed  copy,  and  in 
them  I  saw  a  seeking  rather  than  knowledge.  Many  tilings 


THE  GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY  299 

*rere  dim  or  uncertain,  many  things  were  missing,  but 
nothing  was  there  which  in  its  turn  could  not  be  looked  upon 
as  a  symptom  of  struggling  toward  realization. 

I,  too,  knew  what  these  people  felt;  it  was  the  longing  for 
a  new  movement  which  was  to  be  more  than  a  party  in  the 
previous  sense  of  the  word. 

When  I  went  home  to  the  barracks  on  that  evening,  I 
had  already  formed  my  opinion  of  this  society. 

Now  I  was  faced  by  perhaps  the  most  serious  question  of 
my  life:  was  I  to  join  or  was  I  to  refuse? 

My  reason  could  only  advise  me  to  refuse,  but  my  feeling 
would  not  let  me  find  peace,  and  the  more  often  I  tried  to 
keep  the  absurdity  of  this  entire  club  before  my  eyes,  the 
more  often  did  feeling  speak  in  favor  of  it. 

In  the  days  that  followed  I  was  restless. 

I  began  to  ponder  about  the  pros  and  cons.  I  had  long 
since  made  up  my  mind  to  take  up  political  activity;  that 
this  could  be  only  in  a  new  movement  was  also  clear  to  me, 
so  far  only  the  instigation  for  action  had  not  come.  I  do 
not  belong  to  those  who  start  something  one  day  in  order  to 
end  it  again  the  next  day  or  to  change  over,  if  possible,  to 
another  affair.  But  this  very  conviction  was  the  chief  rea- 
son, among  others,  why  it  was  so  difficult  for  me  to  make  up 
my  mind  to  found  such  a  movement.  I  knew  that  for  me 
this  would  mean  a  decision  forever,  where  there  would 
never  be  a  'turn  back.'  For  me  it  was  not  a  temporary 
game,  but  dead  earnest.  Even  in  those  days  I  had  always 
had  an  instinctive  aversion  to  people  who  start  something 
without,  however,  also  carrying  it  out;  1  loathed  these 
jacks-of-all-trades.  I  considered  the  activity  of  these  people 
worse  than  doing  nothing. 

This  opinion,  however,  was  one  of  the  chief  reasons  why 
I  was  not  able,  like  perhaps  so  many  others,  to  decide  to 
found  something  which  either  was  to  become  everything 
or  which  else,  more  suitably,  should  not  be  carried  out 
atalL 


300  MEIN  KAMPF 

Now  Fate  itself  seemed  to  give  me  a  hint.  I  should  never 
have  joined  one  of  the  existing  parties,  and  later  on  I  will 
state  the  reasons  for  this;  for  this  reason,  however,  this 
ridiculously  small  foundation  with  its  handful  of  members 
seemed  to  me  to  have  the  advantage  that  it  had  not  yet 
hardened  into  an  'organization/  but  seemed  to  offer  to  the 
individual  the  chance  for  real  personal  activity.  For  this 
was  the  advantage  which  was  bound  to  result:  here  one 
would  still  be  able  to  work,  and  the  smaller  the  movement 
was,  the  easier  it  would  be  to  bring  it  into  the  right  shape. 
Here  the  contents,  the  goal,  and  the  way  could  still  be 
fixed,  something  that  with  the  existing  great  parties  was 
impossible  from  the  beginning. 

The  longer  I  tried  to  think  about  it,  the  more  the  con- 
viction grew  in  my  mind  that  just  here,  out  of  such  a  small 
movement,  some  day  the  rise  of  the  nation  could  be  pre- 
pared, but  never  from  the  political  parliamentarian  parties 
which  clung  much  too  much  to  the  old  ideas  or  even  shared 
the  advantages  of  the  new  regime.  For  what  was  to  be 
announced  now  was  a  new  view  of  life  and  not  a  new  elec- 
tion slogan. 

t  However,  it  was  an  infinitely  hard  decision  to  wish  to 
transform  this  intention  into  reality. 

What  prerequisites  did  I  myself  bring  to  this  task? 

That  I  had  no  means  and  was  poor  seemed  to  me  the 
most  easily  endurable,  but  it  was  more  difficult  that  I  sim- 
ply belonged  to  the  great  crowd  of  nameless  people,  that  I 
was  one  among  the  millions  who  are  allowed  to  continue  to 
live  by  sheer  accident,  or  who  are  called  from  life  again 
without  even  their  surroundings  condescending  to  take 
notice  of  it.  To  this  came  the  difficulty  which  was  bound 
to  result  from  my  lack  of  schools. 

The  so-called  'intelligentsia9  at  any  rate  looks  down  with 
really  infinite  condescension  on  everyone  who  has  not  been 
pulled  through  the  obligatory  schools  in  order  to  have  the 


THE  GERMAN  WORKERS'  PARTY  301 

necessary  knowledge  pumped  into  his  brains.  Actually,  the 
question  is  never,  What  can  this  man  do,  but  what  has  he 
learned?  To  these  'educated'  ones  the  greatest  empty- 
head,  provided  he  is  only  wrapped  in  a  sufficient  number  of 
certificates,  is  worth  more  than  even  the  most  clever  boy 
who  does  not  possess  these  priceless  paper  bags.  I  was  able 
to  imagine  in  what  way  this  'educated'  world  would  con- 
front me,  and  in  that  I  was  wrong  only  in  so  far  as  in  those 
days  I  still  believed  people  to  be  better  than  they  unfor- 
tunately are,  for  the  greater  part,  in  sober  reality.  This,  of 
course,  as  everywhere  else,  lights  up  the  exceptions  much 
more  brightly.  Thus  I  learned  to  distinguish  all  the  more 
between  the  eternal  '  pupils '  and  the  really  competent.  •<• 

After  two  days  of  agonized  pondering  and  reflection  I 
finally  arrived  at  the  decision  to  take  the  step. 

It  was  the  most  decisive  decision  of  my  life. 

There  could  not,  and  must  not,  be  a  retreat. 

Thus  I  registered  as  a  member  of  the  German  Workers' 
Party  and  received  a  provisional  membership  ticket  with 
the  number  seven. 


CHAPTER  X 
THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE 


E  depth  of  the  fall  of  a  body  is  always  the  measure 
for  the  distance  of  its  momentary  situation  from  the 
one  it  had  originally.  The  same  may  also  be  said  of 
the  fall  of  nations  and  States.  With  this,  however,  a  deci- 
sive significance  must  be  attributed  to  the  previous  situation 
or  rather  height.  Only  that  which  usually  rises  above  the 
general  level  can  also  fall  or  tumble  visibly  deep.  This 
makes  the  collapse  of  the  Reich  so  serious  and  terrible  for 
every  thinking  and  feeling  man,  that  it  brought  the  fall 
from  a  height  hardly  still  imaginable  in  the  face  of  the  mis- 
ery of  the  present  degradation. 

Even  the  very  foundation  of  the  Reich  seemed  to  be 
gilded  by  the  charm  of  an  event  that  elated  the  entire  na- 
tion. After  an  incomparably  victorious  course  there  arises 
finally,  as  the  reward  for  immortal  heroism,  a  Reich  for  the 
sons  and  the  grandsons.  Whether  consciously  or  uncon- 
sciously, it  makes  no  difference,  all  the  Germans  had  the 
feeling  that  this  Reich,  which  did  not  owe  its  existence  to 
the  cheating  of  parliamentary  factions,  stood  out  over  the 
measure  of  other  States  solely  by  the  sublime  manner  of 
its  foundation;  for,  not  in  the  cackling  of  parliamentary 
word  battles,  but  under  the  thundering  and  roaring  of  the 
Parisian  blockade  front  took  place  the  solemn  act  of  the 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  303 

manifestation  of  the  will,  that  the  Germans,  lords  and 
people,  were  determined  to  form  one  realm  in  the  future 
and  again  to  elevate  the  imperial  crown  as  a  symbol;  not 
with  assassination  had  this  been  carried  out,  not  deserters 
and  duty-shirkers  were  the  founders  of  the  State  of  Bis- 
marck, but  the  regiments  of  the  front. 

This  unique  birth  and  baptism  of  fire  alone  wove  around 
the  Reich  a  glimmer  of  historic  fame,  such  as  was  but 
rarely  the  lot  of  the  oldest  States. 

And  what  a  rise  now  set  in! 

The  freedom  towards  the  exterior  gave  the  daily  bread 
to  the  interior.  The  nation  became  rich  in  numbers  and 
worldly  goods.  The  honor  of  the  State,  however,  and  with 
it  that  of  the  entire  people,  was  guarded  and  protected  by 
an  army  which  most  visibly  showed  the  difference  from  the 
one-time  German  Union. 

So  deep  is  the  fall  which  hits  the  Reich  and  the  German 
people  that  at  first  everybody,  as  if  seized  with  dizziness, 
seems  to  have  lost  feeling  and  consciousness;  one  can 
hardly  remember  the  previous  height,  so  dreamlike  and 
unreal  appears,  measured  by  the  misery  of  the  present,  the 
greatness  and  splendor  of  that  time. 

Thus  it  may  also  be  explained  that  one  is  only  too 
blinded  by  the  sublime,  and  thereby  forgets  to  look  for  the 
omens  of  the  enormous  collapse  which  certainly  must  have 
somewhere  been  present. 

This  may  be  said,  of  course,  only  of  those  for  whom  Ger- 
many was  more  than  a  mere  dwelling-place  for  making  and 
spending  money,  as  only  they  are  able  to  experience  the 
present  condition  as  a  breakdown,  while  to  the  others  it  is 
the  fulfillment  of  their  hitherto  unsatisfied  wishes,  long 
desired.  ^4- 

These  omens,  however,  were  visibly  present  at  that  time, 
though  only  very  few  tried  to  draw  a  certain  lesson  from 
them. 


304  MEIN  KAMPF 

Today  this  is  more  necessary  than  ever. 

Just  as  one  is  only  able  to  arrive  at  the  cure  of  an  illness 
if  the  cause  of  it  is  known,  the  same  may  be  said  also  as 
regards  curing  political  evils.  Of  course,  one  usually  sees 
and  recognizes  the  outward  form  of  an  illness,  the  symp- 
toms that  catch  the  eye,  more  easily  than  its  inner  cause. 
This  is  also  the  reason  why  so  many  people  never  go  beyond 
the  discovery  of  outward  symptoms  and  therefore  even 
confuse  the  symptoms  with  the  cause,  nay,  even  preferably 
try  to  deny  the  presence  of  such  a  cause  altogether.  There- 
fore also,  most  of  us  primarily  see  the  German  collapse  only 
as  a  result  of  the  general  economic  distress  and  its  conse- 
quences. Almost  everyone,  however,  has  to  share  in  carry- 
ing the  burden  of  this  distress,  so  that  here  is  found  a  cogent 
reason  for  every  single  individual  to  understand  the  catas- 
trophe. But  the  great  masses  see  far  less  the  collapse  in  the 
political,  cultural,  and  ethical-moral  direction,  etc.  Here, 
feeling  and  also  reason  fail  completely  with  many  people. 

That  this  is  so  with  the  great  masses  may  be  allowable, 
but  that  also  in  the  circles  of  the  intelligentsia  the  German 
collapse  is  looked  upon  primarily  as  an  'economic  catas- 
trophe,' and  that  therefore  the  cure  is  expected  to  come 
from  economy,  is  one  of  the  reasons  why  so  far  recovery  has 
been  impossible.  Only  if  one  realizes  that  here,  too,  econ- 


Criticism  of  the  so-called  'business  enterprise  State*  —  i.e., 
the  State  which  looks  upon  economic  enterprise  as  the  chief 
source  of  riches  and  therefore  of  well-being  —  was  a  favorite 
topic  of  post-War  Rightist  literature.  Oswald  Spengler  held 
that  the  basis  structure  of  modern  society  is  national  and  politi- 
cal, so  that  industry  depends  upon  its  fundament,  the  State. 
On  the  other  hand,  it  is  independent  in  the  sense  that  leader- 
ship must  be  developed  inside  the  industry  itself.  Hence  the 
necessity  for  personal  leadership  and  initiative.  (Cf .  Neubau 
dtische 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  305 

erniy  is  only  of  second  or  even  third  importance,  but  that 
political,  ethical-moral,  as  well  as  factors  of  blood  and  race, 
are  of  the  first  importance,  then  one  will  strive  at  an  under- 
standing of  the  causes  of  the  present  misfortune,  and  with 
it,  one  will  be  able  to  find  means  and  ways  to  recovery. 

The  quest  for  the  causes  of  the  German  collapse  is  there- 
fore of  decisive  importance,  above  all  for  a  political  move- 
ment, the  very  goal  of  which  is  to  be  the  conquest  of  the 
defeat. 

But  also  with  such  research  into  the  past  one  has  to  guard 
very  much  against  confusing  the  effects,  which  more  surely 
catch  the  eye,  with  the  less  visible  causes. 

The  easiest  and  therefore  also  the  most  widespread  ex- 
planation of  today's  misfortune  is  that  the  consequences 
involved  are  those  of  the  lost  war,  and  that  therefore  the 
latter  is  the  cause  of  the  present  evil. 

Now  there  may  be  many  who  will  seriously  believe  this 
nonsense,  but  there  are  many  more  out  of  whose  mouths 
such  an  explanation  can  only  be  a  lie  and  conscious  un- 
truth. This  may  be  said  of  all  those  who  today  have  their 
place  at  the  government's  mangers.  For,  did  not  once  the 
very  announcers  of  the  Revolution  most  urgently  point 
out,  again  and  again  to  the  people,  that  for  the  great  masses 
it  would  make  no  difference  whatsoever  how  this  war 


Oddly  enough  this  is  virtually  the  same  reasoning  to  which 
the  Majority  Socialists  resorted  during  the  War  in  order  to  at- 
tack Minority  Socialists  who  maintained  that  the  worker  had 
no  interest  in  the  struggle,  and  that  therefore  his  party  was  not 
justified  in  supporting  the  government  either  by  voting  credits 
or  by  rendering  patriotic  service.  Scheidemann,  David,  and 
Ebert  maintained  that  if  Germany  did  not  defend  herself  to 
the  utmost  of  her  ability,  German  industry  would  lose  its 
markets  and  therewith  its  ability  to  pay  wages.  But  they  all 
repudiated  ware  of  conquest. 


106  MEIN  KAMPF 

would  end?  Have  they  not,  on  the  contrary,  asserted  most 
seriously  that  at  the  utmost  only  the  ' great  capitalist9 
could  have  any  interest  in  the  victorious  end  of  this  colossal 
wrestling  of  nations,  but  never  the  German  people  itself,  or 
even  the  German  worker?  Indeed,  on  the  contrary,  did  not 
these  apostles  of  world  reconciliation  assert  'militarism' 
could  only  be  destroyed  by  the  German  defeat,  but  that  the 
German  people  would  celebrate  its  most  glorious  resur- 
rection? Did  one  not  praise  in  these  circles  the  benevo- 
lence of  the  Entente,  and  did  one  not  charge  Germany  with 
the  entire  guilt  of  bloody  struggle?  But  would  one  have 
been  able  to  do  so  without  the  explanation  that  even  defeat 
would  have  no  special  consequences  for  the  nation?  Was 
not  the  entire  Revolution  trimmed  with  the  phrase  that 
through  it  the  victory  of  the  German  flag  would  be  pre- 
vented, and  that  thereby  the  German  people  would  face  all 
the  more  its  inner  and  outer  freedom? 

Was  this  perhaps  not  so,  you  miserable  and  lying  fel- 
lows? 

It  really  takes  a  truly  Jewish  impudence  to  attribute  the 
cause  of  the  collapse  to  the  military  defeat,  while  the  cen- 
tral organ  of  all  traitors  of  nations,  the  Vorwaerts  of  Berlin, 
wrote  nevertheless  that  this  time  the  German  people  would 
not  be  allowed  to  bring  its  flags  home  with  victory! 

And  this  is  now  supposed  to  be  the  cause  of  our  collapse? 

It  would  naturally  be  quite  useless  to  quarrel  with  such 
forgetful  liars,  and  therefore  I  would  also  not  waste  one 
word  about  it,  if  unfortunately  this  nonsense  were  not 
repeated  parrot-like  by  so  many  entirely  thoughtless 
people,  without  that  maliciousness  or  conscious  untruth- 
fulness  that  would  give  the  cause  for  this.  But,  further- 
more, these  explanations  are  intended  to  be  helpful  to  our 
fighters  for  enlightenment,  which  is  very  necessary  anyhow 
in  a  time  when  the  spoken  word  is  usually  twisted  in  one's 
very  mouth. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  307 

Thus  in  reply  to  the  statement  that  the  lost  war  is  guilty 
of  the  German  collapse,  the  following  is  to  be  said : 

The  loss  of  the  War  was  certainly  of  terrible  importance 
to  the  future  of  our  fatherland,  but  this  loss  is  not  a  cause, 
but,  in  turn,  again  only  a  consequence  of  other  causes.  That 
an  unfortunate  end  of  this  fight  for  life  and  death  was 
bound  to  lead  to  very  disastrous  consequences  was  cer- 
tainly entirely  clear  to  every  sensible  and  not  malicious 
person,  but  unfortunately  there  were  also  those  whose 
intelligence  seemed  to  be  lacking  at  the  right  time,  or  who, 
contrary  to  their  better  knowledge,  nevertheless  first  dis- 
puted and  denied  this  truth;  these  were  for  the  greater  part 
those  who,  after  the  realization  of  their  secret  wish,  now 
suddenly  receive  the  belated  realization  of  the  catastrophe 
which  they  helped  to  bring  about.  They,  therefore,  are  the 
culprits  of  the  collapse,  and  not  the  lost  war,  as  it  now 

This  passage  is  first  of  all  a  defense  of  General  Ludendorfl 
and  of  the  dictatorship  he  exercised  during  the  War.  The 
argument  is  characteristic.  Unfortunately  the  Pan-German 
element  had  to  concede  that  the  sacrifices  of  four  years  had 
been  in  vain ;  and  it  determined  now  to  fight  down  the  popular 
feeling  that  war  itself,  as  an  instrument  of  national  policy,  had 
been  repudiated.  Therefore  the  argument  that  peace  is  the 
most  effective  solvent  of  national  greatness  re-appears  in  a 
thousand  forms.  Nevertheless  relatively  few  Nazis  have  ven- 
tured to  assert  that  war  itself  is  good.  Normally  they  shrink  a 
little  from  drawing  all  the  conclusions  latent  in  Spengler's 
phrase,  '  Man  is  a  beast  of  prey.'  What  they  generally  advo- 
cate is  an  army  ideally  perfect,  so  that  Germany  may  impose 
its  peace  upon  the  world  without  the  shedding  of  blood.  For  as 
Houston  Stewart  Chamberlain  said  during  the  War,  only  the 
German  word  for  peace  —  Friede  —  expresses  what  the  world 
needs,  a  Masting  realm  of  love  and  tenderness'  (a  kind  of  ex- 
tension of  the  last  act  of  Tristan  und  Isolde).  The  French  word 
—  Paix  —  stands  for  nothing  except  a  pact,  a  treaty.  Hitler 


308  MEIN  KAMPF 

pleases  them  to  say  and  to  believe.  For  the  loss  of  the  Wai 
was  only  the  consequence  of  their  activity,  and  not,  as  they 
now  assert,  the  result  of  'bad'  leadership.  The  enemy,  too, 
did  not  consist  of  cowards;  he,  too,  knew  how  to  die;  his 
number  was,  for  the  first  day,  greater  than  that  of  the  Ger- 
man army,  his  technical  armament  had  the  arsenals  of  the 
whole  world  at  his  disposal;  thus  the  fact  that  the  German 
victories  which  were  gained  by  fighting  against  a  whole 
world  during  four  years  were  due,  with  all  heroic  courage 
and  all  'organization/  only  to  superior  leadership,  cannot 
be  denied  in  the  face  of  reality.  The  organization  and  the 
leadership  of  the  German  army  were  the  most  colossal 
affair  which  the  earth  has  ever  seen  so  far.  Its  deficiencies 
were  within  the  bounds  of  general  human  imperfection  as  a 
whole. 

That  this  army  broke  down  was  not  the  cause  of  our  pre- 
sent misfortune,  but  only  the  consequence  of  other  crimes,  a 
consequence  which  in  its  turn,  however,  introduced  the 
beginning  of  a  further  and  this  time  more  conspicuous  col- 
lapse. 

That  this  is  the  case  may  be  derived  from  the  following: 

When,  then,  is  a  military  defeat  bound  to  lead  to  such  a 

complete  breakdown  of  a  nation  and  a  State?  Since  when 

is  this  the  result  of  an  unlucky  war?   Do  nations  perish  at 

all  by  a  lost  war  as  such? 


in  office  is  fond  of  demanding  that  every  German  must  be- 
come, physically  and  mentally,  an  instrument  of  the  High 
Command,  and  of  the  turning  the  next  minute  to  a  proclama- 
tion of  his  ardent  desire  for  peace.  One  may,  perhaps,  put  the 
matter  in  a  nutshell  by  saying:  for  Mr.  Neville  Chamberlain 
1  peace'  is  something  that  will  permit  the  British  investor  to 
keep  on  excelling  at  the  hunt;  for  Mr.  Hitler  it  is  something 
that  results  from  the  scare  that  follows  a  mobilization  of  the 
German  army. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  309 

The  answer  to  this  can  be  very  short:  Whenever  nations 
receive  in  their  military  defeat  the  return  for  their  inner 
corruption,  cowardice,  and  lack  of  character,  in  short,  for 
their  unworthiness.  If  this  is  not  the  case,  then  the  military 
defeat  will  become  the  impulse  for  a  coming  greater  rise 
rather  than  the  tombstone  of  a  nation's  existence. 

History  offers  no  end  of  examples  for  the  correctness  of 
this  assertion. 

Unfortunately,  the  military  defeat  of  the  German  people 
is  not  an  undeserved  catastrophe,  but  rather  a  deserved 
punishment  by  eternal  retribution.  We  more  than  de- 
served this  defeat.  It  is  only  the  greatest  outward  symp- 
tom of  decay  among  quite  a  series  of  internal  ones  which 
perhaps  would  have  remained  hidden  to  the  eye  of  most 
people,  or  which  perhaps  one,  in  ostrich-like  manner,  did 
not  want  to  see. 

One  should  only  look  at  the  accompanying  symptoms 
with  which  the  German  people  accepted  this  defeat.  Had 
one  not  in  many  circles  actually  expressed  joy  at  the  mis- 
fortune of  the  fatherland  in  the  most  shameless  way?  But 
who  does  this  if  he  does  not  really  deserve  such  punish- 
ment? Indeed,  did  one  not  even  go  farther  and  boast  of 
finally  having  caused  the  front  to  retreat?  And  it  was  not 
the  enemy  who  did  this,  no,  no,  it  was  Germans  who  piled 
such  disgrace  upon  their  heads!  Did  misfortune  perhaps 
hit  them  unjustly?  Since  when,  however,  does  one  step 
forward  in  order  to  attribute  the  war  guilt  to  oneself?  And 
this,  despite  realization  and  knowledge  to  the  contrary! 

No,  and  again  no:  in  the  way  and  in  the  manner  in  which 
the  German  people  accepted  its  defeat  one  is  able  to  recog- 
nize most  clearly  that  the  true  cause  of  our  collapse  is  to  be 
found  in  a  place  quite  apart  from  the  purely  military  loss 
of  some  positions  or  in  the  failure  of  an  offensive;  for  if  the 
front  as  such  had  really  failed  and  if,  by  its  misfortune,  the 
doom  of  the  fatherland  had  been  caused,  the  German 


310  MEIN  KAMPF 

people  would  have  accepted  defeat  in  quite  a  different  way. 
Then,  with  clenched  teeth,  one  would  have  endured  the 
misfortune  that  now  followed,  or  one  would  have  lamented 
it,  overcome  by  pain;  then  wrath  and  fury  against  the  en- 
emy who  had  become  victorious  by  the  cunning  of  chance 
or  by  the  will  of  Destiny  would  have  filled  the  hearts;  then, 
like  to  the  Roman  Senate,  the  nation  would  have  stepped 
up  to  the  defeated  divisions  with  the  fatherland's  thanks 
for  the  sacrifices  made  so  far,  and  with  the  request  not  to 
despair  of  the  Reich.  Even  the  capitulation  would  have 
been  signed  only  by  force  of  reason,  while  the  heart  would 
have  already  beaten  in  expectation  of  the  coming  rise. 

After  the  War  a  strange  frenzy  of  jubilation  was  indulged  in 
by  various  groups  of  Germans.  There  was  dancing  all  night 
in  the  streets  of  villages  and  towns;  delirious  welcomes  to 
homecoming  sweethearts  shocked  the  sedate.  The  German 
government  sent  emissaries  to  welcome  troops  returning  to 
Berlin  and  to  invite  their  support  in  putting  the  new  govern- 
ment on  a  firm  basis;  but  few  consented  to  stay,  and  those  who 
did  were  normally  soon  out  of  control.  Soldiers  who  took  up 
quarters  in  the  Berlin  Schloss  at  Liebknecht's  behest  re- 
emerged  decked  in  the  ex-Kaiser's  uniforms,  their  pockets 
stuffed  with  silver  from  the  Imperial  cupboards.  Most  striking 
detail  of  all,  Berlin  was  on  Christmas  Eve,  1918,  perilously 
close  to  the  brink  of  revolution.  The  government  had  no 
armed  forces  on  which  it  could  rely;  the  revolutionaries  had 
amassed  considerable  strength.  But  as  if  at  a  prearranged 
signal,  everybody  went  off  to  celebrate  and  the  crisis  was  over. 
One  of  the  most  serious  charges  brought  against  Erzberger 
was  that  he  had  written  an  old  Suabian  toast  in  a  tavern  book 
at  Weimar.  All  this  was,  of  course,  the  result  of  the  attack  of 
giddiness  which  followed  a  sudden  release  from  four  years  of 
pressure  such  as  no  other  people  had  ever  been  called  upon  to 
bear.  For  years  nationalists  referred  to  these  things  as  indi- 
cations of  the  base  Qualities  that  were  hidden  in  the  German 
peyche 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  311 

In  such  a  manner  one  would  have  accepted  a  defeat 
which  would  have  been  due  to  Fate  alone.  Then  one  would 
not  have  laughed  and  danced,  then  one  would  not  have 
boasted  of  one's  cowardice,  and  one  would  not  have  glori- 
fied the  defeat;  one  would  not  have  jeered  at  the  fighting 
troops  and  one  would  not  have  torn  its  flag  and  cockade 
down  into  the  dirt,  but  above  all :  then  it  would  never  have 
come  to  that  terrible  condition  which  caused  an  English 
officer,  Colonel  Repington,  to  utter  the  contemptuous  re- 
mark: 'Among  the  Germans  every  third  man  is  a  traitor.' 
No,  this  pestilence  would  never  have  been  able  to  swell  up 
to  such  a  suffocating  flood  which  now  for  five  years  has 
drowned  even  the  last  remainder  of  respect  on  the  part  of 
the  rest  of  the  world. 

From  this  can  best  be  seen  the  lie  contained  in  the  asser- 


The  spectacle  of  Germany  in  defeat  was  in  some  respects 
undignified.  Neither,  for  that  matter,  was  the  spectacle  of 
Allied  countries  reveling  in  victory  a  highly  edifying  one.  On 
both  sides  orgies  of  lust  and  madness,  for  which  Europe  could 
hardly  parallel  in  history,  marked  the  end  of  the  conflict.  In 
Germany,  American  and  British  observers  saw  passers-by  — 
young  loafers  and  deserters  for  the  most  part  —  beset  officers, 
tear  the  insignia  from  their  shoulders,  and  bash  their  sabres 
against  the  pavement.  One  such  observer  wrote  in  his  diary 
at  the  time:  'There  will  be  a  reaction  against  these  things^and 
it  will  not  be  pleasant  to  contemplate.'  Yet  such  phenomena 
did  not  illustrate  the  sentiment  of  either  the  people  or  the 
army  as  a  whole.  In  November,  1918,  a  battalion  of  veterans, 
covered  with  gray  mud,  starved  to  the  bone,  marched  home- 
ward through  the  streets  of  Mtinster.  On  they  came  with  firm 
tread,  rifles  slung  on  their  shoulders,  looking  for  all  the  world 
like  a  procession  of  wraiths  arisen  from  the  battlefields  of  the 
Marne.  The  thousands  gathered  along  the  streets  stood  in 
awe-struck  silence,  until  finally  a  universal  sob  that  shook  the 
crowd  seemed  to  come  from  every  throat.  In  a  small  Moselle 


312  MEIN  KAMPF 

tkm  that  the  lost  war  was  the  cause  of  the  German  col* 
lapse.  No,  the  military  collapse  was  in  its  turn  only  the 
consequence  of  quite  a  series  of  the  symptoms  of  an  illness 
and  their  causes,  which  had  visited  the  German  nation  even 
in  time  of  peace.  It  was  this  the  first  catastrophic  conse- 
quence of  moral  poisoning,  visible  to  all,  the  consequence 
of  a  decrease  in  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  and  of  the 
conditions  for  it,  which  had  already  begun  to  undermine 
the  foundations  of  the  people  and  the  Reich  many  years 
ago. 

But  it  took  the  entire  bottomless  lying  of  Jewry  and  its 
Marxist  fighting  organization  to  burden  with  the  guilt  of 
the  collapse  just  that  man,  the  only  one  who  tried,  with 
superhuman  will  power  and  energy,  to  prevent  the  catas- 
trophe he  saw  approaching  and  to  spare  the  nation  the  time 
of  the  deepest  degradation  and  dishonor.  By  stamping 


village,  officers  of  the  Fourth  Army  Corps,  A.E.F.,  attended  a 
Christmas  midnight  Mass,  in  1918.  Widows  in  black  ushered 
their  little  children,  dressed  in  white,  into  the  church  from  out 
of  the  snow-filled  night;  and  not  one  of  them  stood  dry-eyed 
as  the  music  of  ancient  carols  eddied  round  the  tombs  of  village 
warriors  dead  a  thousand  years  ago.  No,  it  is  historically  un- 
just to  cast  aspersions  on  the  German  people.  They  were 
utterly  stunned  by  the  suddenness  of  their  defeat,  for  which 
nothing  had  prepared  them.  And  they  were  left  to  carve  out 
their  own  destiny  by  officers  who,  after  years  of  dictatorship, 
wished  now  to  get  the  ruins  off  their  hands. 

The  most  effective  critics  of  Ludendorff  were  not  'Jewish 
writers'  or  'Marxist  journals,9  but  gentlemen  of  the  Right 
Virtually  no  one  in  the  Foreign  Office  at  the  end  of  the  con- 
flict entertained  any  doubt  that  the  General  had  ruined  Ger- 
many, and  the  memoirs  of  Bernstorff,  Solf,  Ktthlmann,  and 
others  bear  witness  to  this  fact  Nor  has  military  criticism 
been  less  outspoken. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  313 

Ludendorff  aa  the  culprit  of  the  loss  of  the  World  War,  one 
took  away  from  the  hand  of  the  only  dangerous  accuser, 
who  was  able  to  stand  up  against  the  traitors  to  the  father- 
land, the  weapon  of  moral  right.  Therewith  one  started 
out  with  the  very  correct  assumption  that  in  the  size  of  the 
lie  there  is  always  contained  a  certain  factor  of  credibility, 
since  the  great  masses  of  a  people  may  be  more  corrupt  in 
the  bottom  of  their  hearts  than  they  will  be  consciously  and 
intentionally  bad,  therefore  with  the  primitive  simplicity 
of  their  minds  they  will  more  easily  fall  victims  to  a  great 
lie  than  to  a  small  one,  since  they  themselves  perhaps  also 
lie  sometimes  in  little  things,  but  would  certainly  still  be 
too  much  ashamed  of  too  great  lies.  Thus  such  an  untruth 
will  not  at  all  enter  their  heads,  and  therefore  they  will  be 
unable  to  believe  in  the  possibility  of  the  enormous  impu- 
dence of  the  most  infamous  distortion  in  others;  indeed, 
they  may  doubt  and  hesitate  even  when  being  enlightened, 
and  they  accept  any  cause  at  least  as  nevertheless  being 
true;  therefore,  just  for  this  reason  some  part  of  the  most 
impudent  lie  will  remain  and  stick;  a  fact  which  all  great 
lying  artists  and  societies  of  this  world  know  only  too  well 
and  therefore  also  villainously  employ. 

Those  who  know  best  this  truth  about  the  possibilities 
of  the  application  of  untruth  and  defamation,  however, 
were  at  all  times  the  Jews;  for  their  entire  existence  is  built 
on  one  single  great  lie,  namely,  that  here  one  had  to  deal 
with  a  religious  brotherhood,  while  in  fact  one  has  to  do 
with  a  race  —  what  a  race!  As  such  they  have  been  nailed 
down  forever,  in  an  eternally  correct  sentence  of  funda- 
mental truth,  by  one  of  the  greatest  minds  of  mankind;  he 
called  them  'the  great  masters  of  lying.'  He  who  does  not 
realize  this  or  does  not  want  to  believe  this  will  never  be 
able  to  help  truth  to  victory  in  this  world. 


314  MEIN  KAMPF 

For  the  sake  of  the  German  people  one  has  to  consider 
it  almost  a  piece  of  good  fortune  that  the  time  of  its  latent 
illness  was  not  suddenly  cut  short  by  such  a  terrible  catas- 
trophe, because  otherwise  the  nation  would  probably  have 
perished  more  slowly,  but  nevertheless  all  the  more  cer- 
tainly. The  illness  would  then  have  become  a  chronic  dis- 
ease, whereas  now  in  the  acute  form  of  the  collapse  it  be- 
came clearly  and  distinctly  visible  at  least  in  the  eyes  of  a 
larger  crowd.  It  was  not  by  accident  that  man  became 
master  of  the  plague  more  easily  than  of  tuberculosis.  The 
one  comes  in  terrible  death  waves,  scourging  mankind,  the 
other  sneaks  in  slowly;  the  one  leads  to  terrible  fear,  the 
other  to  gradual  indifference.  But  the  consequence  was 
that  man  opposed  the  one  with  the  whole  ruthlessness  of 
his  energy,  while  he  tries  to  check  consumption  with  weak 
means.  Thus  he  mastered  the  plague,  while  he  in  turn  is 
mastered  by  tuberculosis. 

Exactly  the  same  is  also  the  case  with  diseases  of  national 
bodies.  If  they  do  not  appear  in  the  form  of  a  catastrophe, 
man  begins  gradually  to  get  used  to  them  and  finally  he  will 
perish  by  them,  though  only  after  a  long  time,  but  never- 
theless more  certainly.  Then  it  is  a  good  fortune  (however 
bitter)  if  Destiny  decides  to  intervene  in  this  slow  process 
of  putrid  corruption  and,  at  one  blow,  to  put  before  the  eyes 
of  him  who  is  stricken  the  end  of  the  disease.  For  this  is 
what  such  a  catastrophe  amounts  to  more  than  once.  Then 
it  may  easily  become  the  cause  of  a  recovery  which  sets  in 
with  utmost  determination. 

But  also  in  such  a  case  the  prerequisite  is  again  the  real- 
ization of  the  inner  reasons  which  cause  the  disease  in 
question. 

What  is  most  important  also  here  is  the  distinction  be- 
tween the  causes  and  the  conditions  they  bring  about. 
This  will  be  the  more  difficult  the  longer  the  contagious 
matter  has  been  in  the  nation's  body  and  the  more  it  had 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  315 

already  become  a  natural  part  and  parcel  of  that  body. 
For  it  may  very  easily  happen  that  after  a  certain  time  one 
no  longer  considers  an  absolutely  noxious  poison  as  'alien' 
as  such,  but  that  one  looks  upon  it  as  consistent  with  one's 
nationality  or  tolerates  it,  at  the  utmost,  as  a  necessary 
evil,  so  that  one  no  longer  considers  imperative  the  search 
for  the  cause  of  the  morbific  agent. 

During  the  long  pre-War  years  of  peace  certain  patho- 
logic features  had  certainly  appeared  and  been  recognized 
as  such,  whereas,  apart  from  a  few  exceptions,  one  did  not 
at  all  take  the  morbific  agent  into  account.  It  might  be  said 
that  here  again  it  was  most  of  all  the  symptoms  of  eco- 
nomic life  which  became  conscious  to  the  individual  more 
than  perhaps  the  injurious  consequences  in  quite  a  series 
of  other  domains. 

There  were  many  signs  of  decay  which  ought  to  have 
stimulated  serious  reflection. 


In  this  respect,  from  the  purely  economic  point  of  view, 
the  following  may  be  said : 

By  the  rapid  increase  of  the  German  people's  number 
before  the  War,  the  question  of  supplying  the  daily  bread 
stepped  into  the  foreground  of  all  political  and  economic 
thought  and  activity  in  a  more  and  more  acute  manner. 
Unfortunately,  one  could  not  make  up  one's  mind  to  arrive 
at  the  only  correct  solution,  but  believed  that  one  could 
reach  the  goal  in  a  cheaper  way.  As  soon  as  one  renounced 
gaining  new  territory  and,  instead,  entangled  oneself  in  the 
delusion  of  a  world-wide  economic  conquest,  the  end  was 
bound  to  lead  to  an  industrialization  that  was  as  limitless  as 
it  was  detrimental. 

The  first  consequence  of  gravest  importance  was  the 
weakening  of  the  peasant  class.  In  the  same  measure  in 
which  the  latter  class  diminished,  the  mass  of  the  prole-, 


316  MEIN  KAMPF 

tariat  of  the  great  cities  grew  more  and  more,  till  finally  the 
balance  was  lost  entirely. 

Now  the  sharp  contrast  between  poor  and  rich  became 
really  apparent.  Superabundance  and  misery  now  lived  so 
dose  together  that  the  consequences  of  this  could  be  and 
were  bound  to  be  necessarily  very  dreary.  Distress  and 
frequent  unemployment  began  to  play  their  game  with 
people  and  left  discontent  and  embitterment  as  a  memory 
behind  them.  The  consequence  of  this  seemed  to  be  the 
political  class  split.  Thus,  with  all  economic  prosperity, 
discontent  nevertheless  became  greater  and  deeper,  and 
it  even  went  so  far  that  the  conviction,  'it  can  no  longer  go 
on  like  this,'  became  a  general  one,  without  people  forming 
or  being  able  to  form  a  definite  idea  of  what  should  perhaps 
have  come. 

These  were  the  typical  symptoms  of  a  deep  discontent 
which  tried  to  express  itself  in  such  a  manner. 

But  worse  than  this  were  other  consequential  symptoms 
Which  the  economization  of  the  nation  brought  with  it. 

In  the  measure  in  which  business  rose  to  become  the  de* 
termining  master  of  the  State,  money  became  the  god  whom 
now  everybody  had  to  serve  and  to  worship.  Now  the 
celestial  gods  were  put  more  and  more  into  a  corner  as 
outmoded  and  old-fashioned,  and  instead  of  to  them,  in- 
cense was  offered  to  the  idol  of  mammon.  A  truly  evil 
degeneration  thus  set  in,  especially  evil  for  the  reason  that 
this  took  place  at  a  time  when  the  nation,  more  than  ever, 
would  probably  need  the  highest  heroic  conviction  at  a 
threatening  critical  hour;  Germany  had  to  be  prepared  with 
the  help  of  the  sword  to  stand  up  some  day  for  her  attempt 
to  secure  her  daily  bread  by  way  of  a  'peaceful  economic 
work.' 

Unfortunately,  the  domination  of  money  was  sanctioned 
also  by  that  authority  which  should  have  resisted  it  most 
of  all:  His  Majesty  the  Kaiser  acted  unluckily  when  he 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  317 

drew  the  aristocracy  particularly  into  the  orbit  of  the  new 
fiscal  capital.  Here,  of  course,  one  has  to  admit  to  his 
credit  that  in  this  respect  unfortunately  even  Bismarck  did 
not  recognize  the  impending  danger.  With  this,  however, 
the  ideal  virtues  had  practically  stepped  back  behind  the 
value  of  money,  for  it  was  obvious  that  once  one  had 
started  out  on  such  a  way,  the  nobility  of  the  sword  would 
very  shortly  have  to  take  its  place  behind  the  aristocracy 

Attacks  on  the  German  nobility  were  to  remain  character- 
istic of  National  Socialism.  Among  nationalists,  the  princes 
were  reproached  for  their  poor  war  record.  More  generally, 
feeling  waxed  strong  against  the  caste  on  social  and  economic 
grounds.  Even  the  Center  Party  struck  noblemen  off  its  list 
of  candidates  —  a  revolutionary  action  of  which  it  was  to  re- 
pent later.  The  question  concerning  what  disposition  was  to 
be  made  of  the  fortunes  of  the  princes  rocked  German  politics 
for  years,  leading  eventually  to  a  referendum  which  cut  across 
all  party  alignments.  Hitler's  criticism  seems  to  have  been 
based  primarily  on  intermarriages  between  the  scions  of  noble 
houses  and  Jewish  maidens.  Such  alliances  were,  as  a  matter 
of  fact,  common,  many  dating  back  to  Napoleonic  times. 
Anyone  who  takes  the  trouble  to  study  the  dedications  of 
memoirs  that  appeared  after  the  middle  of  the  nineteenth 
century  will  find  that  in  a  great  many  instances  this  rule  ap- 
plies: the  nobler  the  author,  the  more  certain  he  is  to  boast  a 
Jewish  grandmother.  The  late  eighteenth  century  —  period  of 
Lessing's  Nathan  der  Wcisc  —  was  characterized  by  the 
homage  paid  to  brilliant  and  beautiful  Jewish  women.  Some 
of  the  marriages  were,  of  course,  based  on  money,  but  it  must 
be  added  that  the  Jews  brought  from  Vienna  and  Frankfort  a 
culture  superior  to  any  that  then  existed  in  northeast  Germany. 

The  most  voluminous  Nazi  critic  of  the  German  nobility  is, 
however,  R.  Walther  Darrfe,  Hitler's  Minister  of  Agriculture. 
Born  in  the  Argentine  and  said  to  have  specialized  in  veterinary 
science,  Darr6  is  above  all  the  author  of  Neuadel  aus  Blut  und 
Boden.  He  summarizes  the  faults  of  the  princes  as  these  have 


318  MEIN  KAMPF 

of  finance.  Financial  operations  succeed  more  easily  thtin 
battles.  Also,  it  was  no  longer  inviting  now  for  the  real 
hero  or  statesman  to  be  brought  into  contact  with  the  next- 
best  Jew  banker,  so  that  the  really  meritorious  man  could 
no  longer  have  an  interest  in  the  bestowal  of  such  cheap 
decorations,  but  refused  them  with  thanks  as  far  as  he  was 
concerned.  This  development  was  profoundly  saddening 
also  from  the  point  of  view  of  blood ;  the  nobility  lost  more 

long  since  been  chalked  up  by  Lagarde,  Langbehn,  Treitschke, 
and  others.  Then  he  attributes  most  of  the  blame  to  Charle- 
magne, who  because  the  fact  that  he  favored  Roman  law  and 
custom  proved  that  he  'no  longer  possessed  a  sense  of  the  im- 
portance of  the  German  nobility,  by  reason  of  the  fact  that  he 
was  deficient  in  the  heritage  of  German  blood,1  The  battle  of 
Verden  (782)  was,  he  thinks,  the  deciding  point.  For  there 
Charlemagne  defeated  the  *  Saxon  nobles.'  From  that  time 
on,  'a  Christian  nobility  is  dominant  in  Germany,  formed  for 
the  most  part  of  Prankish  noblemen-officials,  whose  blood  was 
of  dubious  purity  in  the  Germanic  sense,  though  in  the  course 
of  time . . .  this  was  replaced  by  or  improved  by  better  blood. 
But  this  history  of  the  development  of  the  German  Christian 
nobility  out  of  the  Prankish  noblemen-official  caste  is  very 
basically  the  cause  why,  in  contradistinction  to  the  heathen 
Germanic  nobility,  it  no  longer  acts  as  a  leadership  embedded 
in  the  people,  but  as  a  caste  set  apart  by  itself  above  the 
German  people  —  a  caste  which  was  dissolved  only  after  the 
Crusades.'  (Dane's  diction  and  syntax  retain  certain  veter- 
inarian characteristics.) 

How,  then,  is  the  situation  to  be  remedied?  In  the  Vdlkischer 
Bcobachter  (1923)  Darr£  proposed  the  establishment  of  Zucht- 
ivarten  —  that  is,  offices  for  breeding  control  —  whose  duty  it 
would  be  to  keep  records  of  German  breeding.  German  girls 
were  to  be  divided  into  four  classes:  the  ten  per  cent  shown  by 
inspectors  to  have  the  best  German  blood  were  to  be  set  apart 
as  the  group  from  which  the  'new  German  nobility*  might 
freely  choose ;  the  rest  of  those  girls  against  whose  blood  streams 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  319 

and  more  the  racial  presumption  for  its  existence.  For  a 
greater  part  the  designation  'non-nobility*  would  have 
been  far  more  suitable. 

A  symptom  of  serious  economic  decay  was  the  slow  ex- 
tinction of  the  personal  right  of  possession  and  the  gradual 
handing-over  of  the  entire  economy  into  the  possession  of  stock- 
holders' companies. 

Only  with  this  had  labor  truly  sunk  to  the  level  of  an 
object  of  speculation  of  unscrupulous  hagglers;  but  the 

nothing  important  could  be  said  were  also  to  be  within  the 
'new  nobleman's'  purview,  provided  he  could  obtain  the 
Zuchtwarfs  permission  to  wed  with  one  of  them;  the  group 
against  which  pertinent  criticism  could  be  advanced  were  to 
be  free  to  marry,  provided  they  were  sterilized  in  advance; 
and  those  unfortunates  whose  blood  proved  to  be  beneath 
contempt  were  to  be  held  away  from  the  altar  under  all  cir- 
cumstances. To  these  ideas  Darr6  has  often  returned,  particu- 
larly in  the  famous  seventh  chapter  of  Neuadel  aus  Blut  und 
Boden,  in  which  he  attempts  to  apply  the  laws  of  breeding  to 
the  German  people.  Here  also  is  the  often  quoted  passage  in 
which  he  maintains  that  an  illegitimate  child  of  'good  blood' 
is  to  be  ranked  higher  than  a  legitimate  child  of  'bad  blood.' 
The  distinction  is  of  importance,  since  girls  of  'bad  blood'  are 
no  longer  permitted  to  marry  peasants  whom  the  law  permits 
to  inherit  land. 

How  much  of  this  theory  has  been  put  into  practice  cannot 
be  determined.  The  most  important  of  the  published  decrees 
are  the  sterilization  laws.  No  figures  on  the  total  number  of 
operations  are  available,  nor  is  there  any  certainty  that 
'feeble-mindedness'  has  been  the  major  argument  resorted  to. 
Physicians  recently  employed  in  German  hospitals  estimate 
that  the  total  number  of  operations  since  1933  —  the  law  was 
decreed  during  July  of  that  year  —  exceed  200,000.  £migrt 
authorities  whose  veracity  there  is  no  reason  to  doubt  insist 
that  a  good  portion  of  these  sterilizations  were  carried  out  for 
racial  or  political  reasons.  Some  Catholic  physicians  have  been 


320  MEIN  KAMPF 

alienation  of  property  from  the  employee,  however,  was 
now  increased  ad  infinitum.  The  stock  exchange  began  to 
triumph  and  proceeded  to  take  slowly  but  gradually  the 
life  of  the  nation  in  its  charge  and  control. 

The  internationalization  of  German  economic  life  had 
been  introduced  even  before  the  War  by  the  roundabout 
way  of  the  stock  issues.  Indeed,  one  part  of  German  indus- 
try still  tried  to  guard  itself  with  determination  against  this 
fate;  but  then,  in  turn,  it  fell  victim  to  the  combined  attack 


removed  from  their  positions  for  unwillingness  to  enforce  the 
law.  (Cf.  also  Nazi  Germany:  Its  Women  and  Family  Life,  by 
Clifford  Kirkpatrick.) 

In  addition  the  'new  nobility*  is  in  process  of  formation. 
The  most  important  caste  is  formed  by  the  S.S.  —  the  black- 
garbed  Schutzstaffd  (Safety  Staff)  commanded  by  Himmler; 
and  this  is  now  governed  by  a  rigid  marital  code.  The  Nttrn- 
berg  Laws  on  Race  and  Citizenship,  passed  in  1935,  provide 
(Articles  I  and  2  of  Section  II):  'Marriages  between  Jews  and 
subjects  of  German  or  kindred  blood  are  forbidden.  Marriages 
contracted  despite  this  law  are  invalid,  even  if  they  be  con- 
cluded abroad  in  order  to  circumvent  this  law. . . .  Extra- 
marital relations  between  Jews  and  subjects  of  German  or 
kindred  blood  are  forbidden.'  In  addition,  certain  'experi- 
ments' in  breeding  have  been  conducted. 

Finally  it  may  be  added  that  the  most  famous  recruit  to 
National  Socialism  from  the  ranks  of  the  German  nobility  is 
Prince  August  Wilhelm,  fourth  son  of  the  ex-Kaiser.  He  was 
a  familiar  addendum  to  Nazi  rallies  prior  to  the  Machtcr- 
greifung  (seizure  of  power).  But  during  the  'blood  purge'  of 
1934  he  was  suddenly  ordered  by  General  Goering  to  take  a 
holiday  in  Switzerland,  with  which  request  he  conformed 
without  delay.  During  the  'crisis'  that  developed  in  1938  out 
of  Hitler's  relations  with  the  Reichswehr,  the  ex-Crown 
Prince  was  despatched  on  a  similar  excursion  into  the  Swiss 
Alps. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  321 

of  greedy  capital  which  fought  this  battle  especially  with 
the  aid  of  its  faithful  comrade,  the  Marxist  movement. 

The  continued  war  against  the  German  'heavy  industry* 
was  the  visible  beginning  of  the  German  economy's  inter- 
nationalization, aimed  at  by  Marxism's  victory  in  the  Rev- 
olution. While  I  am  writing  this,  the  general  attack  against 
the  German  State  Railways,  which  is  now  handed  over  to 
the  international  capital,  has  finally  been  successful.  With 
this  the  'international'  Social  Democracy  has  again 
reached  one  of  its  high  objectives. 

How  far  one  had  succeeded  in  this  'economization'  of  the 
German  people  is  probably  most  visible  from  the  fact  that 
finally  after  the  War  one  of  the  leading  heads  of  German 
industry,  and  above  all,  German  trade,  was  able  to  express 
the  opinion  that  economy  as  such  would  be  in  a  position  to 
re-erect  Germany,  nonsense  which  was  dished  up  in  a  very 
moment  when  France  again  based  instruction  in  her  schools 
primarily  on  the  humanistic  principles,  in  order  to  prevent 
the  opinion  that  the  nation  and  the  State  owed  their  exist- 
ence to  business  and  not  to  eternally  ideal  values.  The 
remark  which  in  those  days  a  Stinnes  gave  the  world  caused 

After  the  platform  of  the  Social  Democratic  Party  had  be- 
come '  reformist '  in  character,  attention  was  devoted  primarily 
to  the  question:  'What  industries  are  ripe  for  socialization?' 
When  the  War  was  over,  two  commissions  were  appointed  by 
the  Reich  government  to  look  into  the  matter.  The  principal 
result  was  a  theoretical  decision  that  the  coal  industry  ought 
to  be  socialized.  Nothing  else  was  accomplished,  unless  the 
law  establishing  'industrial  workers'  councils'  be  considered 
an  advance.  Under  the  Dawes  Plan,  the  German  Railroads 
were  organized  into  a  separate  'company'  (Reichsbahn- 
GeseUschaft)  in  the  management  of  which  the  Reparations 
Commission  had  a  share.  The  idea  was  to  collect  reparations 
money  from  the  proceeds  of  the  railroads,  which  remained, 
however,  the  property  of  the  Reich. 


322  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  most  unbelievable  confusion;  because  it  was  taken  up 
immediately  in  order  to  become,  with  marvelous  speed,  the 
leit-motiv  of  all  quacks  and  prattlers  whom  Heaven  had  let 
loose  over  Germany  in  the  capacity  of  'statesmen'  since 
the  Revolution. 


One  of  the  most  evil  symptoms  of  decay  in  pre-War  Germany 
was  the  constant  spreading  of  half  measures  in  all  and  every- 
thing. It  is  always  the  consequence  of  one's  own  uncer- 
tainty about  some  affair  as  well  as  of  a  cowardice  resulting 
from  these  and  other  reasons.  This  disease  is  promoted 
further  by  education. 

German  education  before  the  War  was  afflicted  with  an 
extremely  great  number  of  weaknesses.  Its  intention  was 
cut  out,  in  a  very  one-sided  manner,  for  the  purpose  of 
breeding  pure  'knowledge';  it  was  orientated  less  towards 
'abilities,'  and  far  less  emphasis  was  put  on  the  cultivation 
of  character  in  the  individual  (as  far  as  this  is  at  all  pos- 
sible!), very  little  on  the  promotion  of  the  joy  of  accepting 

Compare  Spengler  (Zucht  oder  Bildung?):  'First  comes  con- 
duct, and  then  knowledge.  But  as  a  nation  we  are  not  at  all 
aware  of  what  conduct  is,  and  we  have  had  far  too  much 
"education."  We  have  been  crammed  full  of  knowledge  that 
has  no  bearing  on  life,  which  is  purposeless  and  directionless, 
by  indefatigable  teachers  unable  to  propose  to  themselves  any 
other  task.  But  it  is  one  thing  to  be  pedantic,  and  another  to 
possess  prudence,  knowledge  of  life,  and  experience  in  the  ways 
of  the  world. ...  I  would  place  Latin  in  the  foreground,  even 
today.  Germany  owes  to  the  thorough  training  in  Latin  af- 
forded by  its  gymnasia  during  the  past  century  more  than  it 
realizes.  To  that  training  it  owes  its  intellectual  discipline, 
its  talent  for  organization,  and  its  progress  in  technology.1 
Spengler  adds,  in  prophetic  words,  that  teaching  history  and 
'educting  the  people  politically'  are  one  and  the  same  thing. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  323 

responsibility,  and  none  at  all  on  the  training  of  will  power 
and  determination.  Its  results  were  really  not  the  strong 
man,  but  rather  the  pliable  'know-all/  as  which  we  Ger- 
mans were  generally  looked  upon  before  the  War  and  were 
esteemed  accordingly.  One  liked  the  German,  as  he  was 
very  useful,  but  one  respected  him  too  little,  just  in  conse- 
quence of  his  weakness  of  will.  Not  without  reason  was  it 
above  all  he,  who  of  all  people  most  easily  lost  his  nation- 
ality and  his  fatherland.  The  nice  proverb, '  M it  dem  Hute  in 
der  Hand  komnti  man  durch  das  ganze  Land'  [with  one's  hat 
in  one's  hand  one  can  go  through  the  whole  land],  says  all 
there  is  to  say. 

This  pliability  became  really  disastrous,  however,  when 
it  determined  the  forms  with  which  alone  one  was  per- 
mitted to  approach  the  monarch ;  that  means,  never  to  con- 
tradict him,  but  to  agree  to  all  and  everything  that  His 
Majesty  pleases  to  ordain.  The  free  dignity  of  man  was 
most  needed  just  in  this  very  place,  if  otherwise  the  mon- 
archistic  institution  was  not  to  perish  some  day  just  because 
of  this  cringing;  for  it  was  cringing  and  nothing  else,  and 
only  to  miserable  cringers  and  sneaks,  in  short,  to  the  whole 
decadent  pack  which  has  always  felt  at  home  around  the 
highest  thrones  more  than  the  honorable,  decent,  and  hon- 
est souls,  this  can  pass  for  the  only  given  form  of  contact 
with  the  wearers  of  a  crown.  These  'most  humble9  crea- 
tures, however,  with  all  humility  towards  their  master  and 
bread-provider,  have  forever  demonstrated  their  greatest 
impudence  towards  the  other  part  of  mankind,  and  most  of 
all  when  it  pleased  them  to  have  the  cheek  to  present  them- 
selves as  solely  'monarchistic'  to  the  other  sinners;  a  gen- 
uine impudence  which  only  such  a  titled  or  untitled  maw- 
worm  can  exhibit.  For  in  truth  these  people  have  been  the 
gravediggers  of  the  monarchy  and  especially  of  the  mon- 
archistic idea.  This  is  conceivable  in  no  other  way.  A  man 
who  is  ready  to  stand  up  for  a  cause  will  and  can  never  be  a 


324  MEIN  KAMPF 

sneak  and  a  characterless  cringer.  He  who  is  really  seri- 
ously concerned  about  the  preservation  and  the  furtherance 
of  an  institution  will  cling  to  it  with  the  last  fiber  of  his 
heart,  and  will  never  be  able  to  get  over  the  fact  if  evils  of 
some  kind  become  apparent  in  that  institution,  but  such  a 
man  indeed  will  not  cry  this  out  publicly,  as  the  democratic 
'friends'  (?)  of  the  monarchy  did  in  exactly  the  same  men- 
dacious manner,  but  he  will  most  seriously  warn  and  try 
to  influence  His  Majesty  in  person,  the  bearer  of  the  crown. 
Thereby  he  will  not  and  must  not  take  the  point  of  view 
that  His  Majesty  will  nevertheless  be  at  liberty  to  act 
according  to  his  will,  even  if  this  may  and  is  bound  to  lead 
to  disaster,  but  in  such  a  case  he  will  have  to  protect  the 
monarchy  against  the  monarch,  and  this  at  any  risk.  For, 
if  the  value  of  this  institution  were  to  be  found  in  the  per- 
son of  the  monarch  who  happens  to  reign  at  the  time  in- 
volved, then  this  would  be  the  worst  institution  conceiv- 
able as  a  whole,  for  only  in  the  rarest  cases  are  the  monarchs 
the  61ite  of  wisdom  and  reason,  or  even  of  character,  as  one 
likes  to  describe  them.  Only  the  professional  cringers  and 
sneaks  believe  this,  but  all  straightforward  people  —  and 
these  are  nevertheless  still  the  most  valuable  individuals  of 
the  State  —  will  feel  repulsed  by  the  representation  of  such 
an  absurd  opinion.  For  them  history  is  only  history,  and 
truth  is  truth,  even  if  the  parties  involved  are  monarchs. 
No,  the  fortune  to  possess  a  great  monarch  in  the  person  of 
a  great  man  falls  only  so  rarely  to  the  share  of  the  people 
that  they  have  to  be  content  if  the  malice  of  Fate  at  least 
abstains  from  making  the  very  worst  mistake. 

Thus  the  value  and  the  importance  of  the  monarchistic 
idea  cannot  lie  in  the  person  of  the  monarch  himself,  except 
Heaven  resolves  to  place  the  crown  on  the  temples  of  an 
heroic  genius  like  Frederick  the  Great  or  of  a  wise  character 
like  Wilhelm  I.  This  happens  once  in  the  course  of  cen- 
turies, and  hardly  more  often.  For  the  rest,  however,  the 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  325 

idea  takes  precedence  of  the  person,  since  the  meaning  of 
this  arrangement  lies  exclusively  in  this  institution  itself. 
But  with  this  the  monarch  himself  falls  into  the  circle  of 
service.  Now  he,  too,  is  only  a  wheel  in  this  work,  and  in 
this  capacity  he  is  obligated  to  the  work.  He,  too,  has  now 
to  submit  to  the  higher  end,  and  'monarchist'  is  no  longer 
he  who  silently  lets  the  bearer  of  the  crown  sin  against  him- 
self, but  he  who  prevents  this.  If  it  were  different,  not  even 
the  dethronement  of  an  obviously  mentally  deranged  prince 
would  be  permissible,  if  the  meaning  were  not  found  in  the 
idea,  but  in  the  '  sacred  *  person  at  any  price, 
t  Today  it  is  really  necessary  to  put  this  down,  as  recently 


These  remarks  are,  in  view  of  much  that  has  been  entered 
into  the  ledger  since  1923,  a  fairly  beguiling  temptation  to  be 
retrospective.  The  relationships  between  Hitler  and  Wilhelm 
II  are  worth  studying  for  the  light  they  throw  on  German 
psychology.  In  both  cases  oratorical  talent  was  used  to  flutter 
the  dovecotes  in  the  majority  of  European  capitals.  Both  were 
disciples  of  Chamberlain,  and  both  believed  firmly  in  the 
inevitable  'war  of  races.1  God  was  with  Wilhelm  as  he  is  with 
Hitler.  Under  the  old  regime,  there  was  Prince  Eulenberg; 
under  the  new  there  is  Rudolf  Hess.  The  court  pianist  tradi- 
tion survived  into  the  Third  Reich.  The  craving  to  be  re- 
ceived into  British  society  has  endured,  together  with  the  same 
inability  to  'arrive.1  Before  the  War,  naval  officers  preparing 
to  receive  the  Kaiser  on  a  tour  of  inspection,  were  surprised 
to  find  that  a  lofty  pedestal  had  been  erected,  to  the  top  of 
which  a  staircase  led.  The  riddle  was  solved  when  Wilhelm 
ascended  to  that  lofty  perch  and  talked  down  to  his  dear  navy. 
In  1 935 1  a  similar  pedestal  was  constructed  for  the  Niirnberg 
Party  Conference.  Hitler  mounted,  and  talked  down  to  his 
beloved  S.A.  The  Kaiser's  picture,  in  days  gone  by,  was 
ubiquitous;  Hitler's  is  now,  if  possible,  still  more  universal. 
But  to  date  the  fondness  for  uniforms  has  apparently  been 
bequeathed  to  General  Goering. 


326  MEIN  KAMPF 

more  and  more  of  those  types  begin  again  to  emerge  from 
obscurity  to  whose  wretched  attitude  the  collapse  of  the 
monarchy  must  be  ascribed  not  in  least  degree.  With  a 
certain  naive  imperturbability,  these  people  now  talk  again 
only  of  'their'  king  (whom,  however,  they  had  nevertheless 
left  in  the  lurch  in  the  most  wretched  manner,  in  the  criti- 
cal hour  only  a  few  years  ago),  and  they  begin  to  describe 
as  a  bad  German  every  man  who  is  not  willing  to  tune  in 
with  their  mendacious  tirades,  while  in  truth  these  are 
exactly  the  same  poltroons  who  in  the  year  1918  dispersed 
and  rushed  away  from  each  and  every  red  arm  badge,  who 
let  their  king  be  king,  immediately  exchanged  halberd  for 
the  walking  stick,  donned  neutral  neckties,  and  disap- 
peared, as  peaceful  'citizens,'  actually  without  leaving  a 
trace.  At  that  time  they  had  disappeared  at  one  blow,  these 
royal  champions,  and  only  after  the  revolutionary  hurricane 
had  calmed  down,  thanks  to  the  activity  of  the  others,  so 
that  one  could  again  blare  out  into  the  air  one's  '  Hail  to  the 
King,  Hail,'  these  'servants'  and  'councillors'  of  the  crown 
began  again  to  emerge  cautiously.  But  now  they  are  all 
here,  and  they  cast  their  eyes  longingly  backwards  towards 
the  fleshpots  of  Egypt,  they  hardly  can  restrain  themselves 
for  loyalty  towards  the  king  and  for  eagerness  to  accomplish 
great  feats,  till  perhaps  the  first  red  arm  badge  will  some 
day  appear  again,  and  the  ghostly  crowd  of  the  parties  inter- 
ested in  the  monarchy  bolts  again,  like  mice  before  the  cat. 

If  the  monarchs  themselves  were  not  guilty  of  these 
things,  one  could  only  pity  them  most  heartily  because  of 
their  defenders  of  today.  But  they  can  be  convinced,  at 
any  rate,  that  with  such  knights  one  loses  perhaps  one's 
throne,  but  that  one  does  not  fight  for  crowns. 

This  devotion,  however,  was  a  fault  of  our  entire  educa- 
tion, a  fault  which  took  its  revenge  now  in  this  place  in  an 
especially  terrible  manner. 

For  in  consequence  of  this,  these  wretched  types  were 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  387 

able  to  hold  their  ground  at  all  courts  and  to  undermine 
gradually  the  foundations  of  the  monarchy.  But  when  the 
building  then  finally  began  to  shake,  they  were  blown  away 
as  it  were  and  disappeared.  Naturally:  cringers  and  flunk- 
ies do  not  let  themselves  be  killed  for  their  master.  That 
the  monarchs  never  know  this  and  on  principle  fail  to  learn 
this  has  been  their  doom  of  old. 


One  of  the  worst  symptoms  of  decay  was  the  increasing  cow- 
ardice towards  responsibility  as  well  as  the  half-heartedness  in 
all  things  resulting  from  it. 

t  The  starting-point  of  this  plague,  however,  lies  with  us 
to  a  great  part  in  the  purest  cultivation  of  irresponsibility  in 
our  parliamentary  institution:  unfortunately,  this  plague 
invaded  slowly  also  the  remaining  domains  of  life,  most  of 
all  that  of  the  State.  Everywhere  one  began  to  evade  re- 
sponsibility and  for  this  reason  one  preferred  to  take  up 
half  and  insufficient  measures;  because  by  their  application 
the  measure  of  the  responsibility  to  be  borne  personally 
seems  to  be  screwed  down  to  the  smallest  size. 

One  need  only  look  at  the  attitude  of  the  various  govern- 
ments towards  a  series  of  really  detrimental  symptoms  of 
our  public  life,  and  one  will  easily  recognize  the  terrible 
meaning  of  this  general  half-heartedness  and  cowardice 
towards  responsibility.-^ 


Here  again  Spengler  is  interesting.  'We  must  set  to  work 
here  and  now,'  he  declared  in  Der  Sumpf,  'relentlessly  finding 
the  sore  on  the  German  body,  if  a  long-drawn-out,  creeping 
illness  is  to  be  cured.'  But  Spengler  detected  the  evil,  not  in 
the  parliamentary  system  as  such,  or  even  in  Marxism,  but 
rather  in  the  mechanics  of  party  life.  Parties,  he  contended, 
became  ends  in  themselves,  and  lost  all  relation  to  the  bane 
central  concerns  of  the  nation. 


328  MEIN  KAMPF 

I  take  up  only  a  few  cases  out  of  the  vast  number  which 
is  at  our  disposal: 

Just  in  journalistic  circles  one  usually  prefers  to  call  the 
press  a  'great  power'  of  the  State.  As  a  matter  of  fact  its 
importance  is  truly  enormous.  It  cannot  be  overestimated ; 
it  is  indeed  actually  the  continuation  of  the  education  of 
youth  in  advanced  age. 

t  Thereby  one  can  divide  the  readers  as  a  whole  into  three 
groups: 

First,  those  who  believe  everything  they  read; 

Secondly,  those  who  no  longer  believe  anything; 

Thirdly,  those  who  critically  examine  what  they  have 
read  and  judge  accordingly. 

The  first  group  is  numerically  by  far  the  greatest.  It  con- 
sists of  the  great  masses  of  the  people  and  therefore  repre- 
sents the  mentally  simplest  part  of  the  nation.  But  it  can- 
not at  all  be  expressed  in  terms  of  professions,  but,  at  the 
utmost,  in  general  grades  of  intelligence.  To  it  belong  all 
those  to  whom  independent  thinking  is  neither  inborn  nor 
instilled  by  education,  and  who,  partly  through  inability  and 
partly  through  incompetence,  believe  everything  that  is 
put  before  them  printed  in  black  on  white.  Also  those  lazy- 
bones belong  to  it  who  are  well  able  to  think  for  themselves, 
but  who,  out  of  sheer  mental  inertia,  gratefully  pick  up 
anything  that  someone  else  has  thought  before,  with  the 
modest  assumption  that  the  latter  will  probably  have  exer- 
cised the  right  kind  of  effort.  Now  with  all  these  people, 
who  represent  the  great  masses,  the  influence  of  the  press 
will  be  enormous.  They  are  not  in  a  position,  or  they  do 
not  wish  personally,  to  examine  what  is  offered  to  them  so 
that  their  entire  attitude  towards  all  current  problems  can 
be  led  back  almost  exclusively  to  the  outward  influence  of 
others.  This  may  be  of  advantage  in  case  their  enlighten- 
ment is  carried  out  by  a  sincere  and  truth-loving  party,  but 
it  is  evil  as  soon  as  scoundrels  or  liars  do  this. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  329 

The  second  group  is  much  smaller  even  in  number.  It  is 
composed  of  the  greater  part  of  elements  which  first  be- 
longed to  the  first  group,  and  who  after  long  and  bitter  dis- 
appointments changed  over  to  the  contrary  and  believe  no 
longer  in  anything  at  all  that  comes  in  the  form  of  print 
before  their  eyes.  They  hate  every  newspaper;  either  they 
do  not  read  it  at  all  or  they  are  annoyed  at  the  contents 
without  exception,  since  in  their  opinion  it  is  composed 
only  of  lies  and  untruths.  These  people  are  very  difficult  to 
handle,  as  they  will  also  always  face  the  truth  mistrustingly. 
Therefore  they  are  lost  to  every  positive  work. 

The  third  group  finally  is  by  far  the  smallest;  it  consists 
of  the  mentally  truly  fine  heads  whom  natural  gifts  and 
education  have  taught  to  think  independently,  who  try  to 
form  a  judgment  of  their  own  about  everything,  and  who 
submit  most  thoroughly  everything  they  have  read  to  an 
examination  and  further  development  of  their  own.  They 
will  not  place  a  newspaper  before  their  eyes  without  making 
their  brains  co-operate  continuously,  and  then  Mr.  Author 
will  not  easily  hold  his  own.  The  journalists  therefore  like 
such  a  reader  only  with  reserve. 

For  this  third  group,  indeed,  the  nonsense  which  a  news- 
paper may  scribble  together  is  of  little  danger  or  impor- 
tance. They  have  accustomed  themselves  anyhow  in  the 
course  of  their  lifetime  to  see  as  a  rule  in  every  journalist  a 
scoundrel  who  tells  the  truth  only  occasionally.  Unfortu- 
nately, however,  the  importance  of  these  excellent  people 
lies  only  in  their  intelligence  and  not  in  their  number;  a  mis- 
fortune in  a  time  in  which  wisdom  is  nothing  and  the  major- 
ity everything.  Today,  where  the  ballot  of  the  masses  de- 
cides, the  decisive  value  lies  with  the  most  numerous  group 
and  this  is  the  first  one:  the  crowd  of  the  simple  ones  and 
the  credulous.** 

It  is  in  the  paramount  interest  of  the  State  and  the  na- 
tion to  prevent  these  people  from  falling  into  the  hands  ot 


330  MEIN  KAMPF 

evil,  ignorant,  or  even  malevolent  educators.  The  State, 
therefore,  has  the  duty  to  supervise  their  education  and  to 
prevent  any  nuisance.  Therefore,  it  has  to  watch  especially 
the  press,  for  its  influence  is  by  far  the  strongest  and  most 
penetrating  on  these  people,  as  it  is  applied  not  temporarily 
but  permanently.  In  the  persistent  and  eternal  repetition 
of  this  instruction  lies  its  entire  unheard-of  importance. 
Therefore,  if  in  any  place  at  all,  the  State  must  not  forget 
that  just  in  here  all  means  must  serve  an  end ;  it  must  not  let 
itself  be  misled  by  the  boast  of  a  so-called  '  freedom  of  the 
press/  and  must  not  be  persuaded  to  fail  in  its  duty  and  to 
put  before  the  nation  the  food  that  it  needs  and  that  is  good 
for  it;  it  must  assure  itself  with  ruthless  determination  of 
this  means  for  educating  the  people  and  to  put  into  the 
service  of  the  State  and  the  nation. 

But  what  food  was  it  that  the  German  press  of  the  pre- 
War  time  put  before  these  people?  Was  it  not  the  worst 
conceivable  poison?  Was  not  the  worst  kind  of  pacifism 
inoculated  into  the  heart  of  our  people,  at  a  time  when  the 
rest  of  the  world  was  about  to  throttle  Germany  slowly  but 
surely?  Did  not  this  press,  even  in  times  of  peace,  instill 
into  the  brains  of  the  people  doubts  about  the  rights  of  their 
own  State,  in  order  to  restrict  it  from  the  beginning  in  the 
choice  of  the  means  for  its  defense?  Was  it  not  the  German 
press  which  knew  how  to  make  palatable  to  our  people  the 
nonsense  of  'Western  Democracy/  till  finally,  captured  by 
all  these  enthusiastic  tirades,  it  thought  that  it  could  en- 
trust its  future  to  a  League  of  Nations?  Did  it  not  help  in 
educating  our  people  towards  a  wretched  immorality?  Did 
it  not  ridicule  morals  and  customs,  interpreting  them  as 
being  old-fashioned  and  humdrum,  till  finally  our  people 
actually  became  'modern'?  Did  it  not,  by  continued 
attack,  undermine  the  fundamentals  of  State  authority  for 
so  long  till  a  single  blow  was  sufficient  to  cause  the  collapse 
of  this  building?  Did  it  not  once  fight  against  every  mani- 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  331 

festation  of  the  will  to  give  to  the  State  what  belongs  to  it, 
did  it  not  fight  with  all  means,  did  it  not  disparage  the 
army  by  continued  criticism,  did  it  not  sabotage  general 
conscription,  and  did  it  not  solicit  the  refusal  of  military 
credits,  etc.,  till  the  results  could  not  fail  to  arrive? 

The  activity  of  the  so-called  liberal  press  was  the  work  of 
gravediggers  for  the  German  people  and  the  German  Reich. 
One  can  pass  by  in  silence  the  Marxist  papers  of  lies;  to 
them  lying  is  as  necessary  to  their  life  as  catching  mice  is  to 
the  cat;  but  its  task  is  only  to  break  the  people's  folkish  and 
national  spine,  in  order  to  make  it  ripe  for  the  yoke  of  slav- 
ery of  international  capital  and  its  masters,  the  Jews. 

But  what  did  the  State  do  against  this  mass  poisoning 
of  the  nation?  Nothing,  actually  nothing.  A  few  ridiculous 
decrees,  a  few  fines  against  too  great  villainies,  and  that 
was  all.  But  instead,  one  hoped  perhaps  to  gain  the  favor  of 
this  pest  by  bringing  forth  flatteries  and  acknowledgments 
of  the  'value'  of  the  press,  its  'importance,'  its  'educational 
mission,'  and  the  other  nonsense  of  that  kind,  which  the 
Jews,  slyly  smiling,  received  and  accepted  with  cunning 
thanks. 

The  cause  for  this  miserable  failure,  however,  was  not 
the  non-recognition  of  the  danger  but  rather  a  cowardice, 
crying  to  Heaven,  and  the  half-heartedness  of  all  resolu- 
tions and  measures,  born  out  of  it.  Nobody  had  the  cour- 
age to  take  up  thoroughgoing  radical  means,  but  here,  as 
everywhere  else,  one  bungled  about  with  half  prescriptions, 
and,  instead  of  delivering  the  coup  de  grdce,  one  perhaps 
only  irritated  the  viper,  with  the  result  that  not  only  every- 
thing remained  as  it  had  been,  but  that,  on  the  contrary, 
the  power  of  the  institution  to  be  fought  increased  from 
year  to  year. 

The  German  government's  defensive  against  the  press 
horde,  slowly  corrupting  the  nation,  of  chiefly  Jewish  origin 
and  of  Jewish  journals,  was  without  a  straight  line,  without 


332  MEIN  KAMPF 

determination,  but  above  all  without  any  visible  goal.  Here 
the  brains  of  the  privy  councillors  gave  out  completely,  in 
the  estimation  of  the  importance  of  this  fight  as  well  as 
in  the  choice  of  the  means,  and  the  establishment  of  a  clear 
plan.  Planlessly  one  doctored  about;  at  a  time  when  one 
had  been  bitten  too  much  one  locked  up  such  a  journalistic 
viper  for  a  few  weeks  or  months,  but  one  left  the  snake's 
nest  as  such  well  alone. 

This  was  partly,  of  course,  also  the  consequence  of  the 
infinitely  sly  tactics  of  Jewry  on  the  one  hand  and  of  a 
stupidity  or  harmlessness  typical  amongst  privy  councillors 
on  the  other.  The  Jew  was  much  too  clever  to  permit  his 
entire  press  to  be  attacked  uniformly.  No,  the  purpose  of 
a  part  of  it  was  to  cover  up.  While  the  Marxist  papers,  in 
the  meanest  way,  went  to  battle  against  everything  that 

The  'Jewish  press1  was  a  slogan  then,  as  it  has  since  been  in 
other  lands.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  a  few  of  the  ablest  'liberal' 
journals  in  Germany  were  edited  by  Jews.  Nevertheless,  when 
one  views  the  press  of  the  country  as  a  whole,  the  Jewish  in- 
fluence appears  to  have  been  limited  to  the  'democratic'  news- 
papers of  Berlin  and  Frankfort.  More  emotion  was  aroused  by 
a  number  of  vigorous  Jewish  opposition  journalists  of  an  in- 
dependent stamp  —  Maximilian  Harden,  Kurt  Eisner,  L. 
Schwarzschild,  Georg  Bernhard. 

Since  1933  the  German  press  has  been  completely  'subordi- 
nated' (gleichgeschaltet).  The  first  to  go  were  the  labor  news- 
papers, not  the  Marxist  ones  merely,  but  particularly  those 
of  the  trade  unions.  Der  Deutsche  —  the  paper  which  Dr.  Hein- 
rich  Brflning  founded  and  which  he  once  edited  —  had  been 
the  organ  of  the  Christian  unions;  now  it  was  transformed 
into  the  daily  mouthpiece  of  Dr.  Robert  Ley,  leader  of  the 
Arbeitsfront  (Labor  Front).  Oddly  enough  the  Jewish-owned 
journals  were  the  ones  to  retain  longest  a  measure  of  inde- 
pendence, because  they  had  been  sold  in  time  to  powerful 
industrial  organizations.  The  Frankfurter  Zcitung,  for  ex- 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  333 

may  be  sacred  to  man,  while  they  attacked  State  and  gov- 
ernment in  the  most  infamous  manner  and  set  great  parts  of 
the  people  by  the  ears,  the  bourgeois  democratic  Jewish 
papers  knew  how  to  give  themselves  the  air  of  the  well- 
known  'objectivity';  they  carefully  avoided  all  strong 
language,  well  knowing  that  all  empty-heads  are  able  to 
judge  all  things  only  according  to  their  appearance  and  that 
they  never  have  the  ability  to  penetrate  into  the  interior, 
so  that  for  them  the  value  of  a  cause  is  judged  by  the  ex- 
terior instead  of  by  the  contents ;  a  human  weakness  to  which 
they  fortunately  owe  also  the  attention  they  receive. 

For  these  people  the  Frankfurter  Zeitung  was  and  is  in- 
deed the  incorporation  of  all  decency;  for  it  never  employs 


ample,  had  a  fairy  godmother  in  I.  G.  Farben,  the  chemical 
trust.  Religious  dailies,  many  of  which  had  been  strong  and 
influential  concerns,  were  thoroughly  curbed.  The  editors 
were  fired  in  lots  of  a  dozen.  What  remained  were  journalistic 
torsos,  which  should  have  been  permitted  to  die  a  respectable 
death.  For  a  while  Colonel  Franz  von  Papen  held  a  jittery 
protecting  hand  over  the  Catholic  Germania  of  Berlin,  once 
the  organ  to  which  all  had  turned  for  information  concerning 
the  views  of  the  powerful  Center  Party.  Then  at  last  the 
miserable  remnant  of  former  glories  was  snuffed  out  in  1938. 
The  Vienna  Reichspost,  organ  of  Dollfuss  and  Schuschnigg, 
collapsed  far  more  rapidly.  The  provincial  newspapers  became 
mere  reprints  of  hand-outs  from  the  Propaganda  Office. 

The  press  is  the  Nazi  Party's  greatest  source  of  income, 
being  a  monopoly  of  tremendous  dimensions.  The  Volkische 
Beobachter  is  the  official  paper,  but  almost  every  Nazi  chieftain 
has  a  journal  peculiarly  his  own.  Particular  value  is  attached 
to  the  illustrated  weeklies,  many  of  which  are  highly  effective 
propaganda  media.  Every  Nazi  event  is  a  photographers* 
holiday.  During  a  single  Rosenberg  speech  in  1933,  official 
cameramen  took  456  flashlight  pictures.  The  Party  also  main- 
tains a  considerable  number  of  newspapers  in  foreign  countries. 


334  MEIN  KAMPF 

crude  expressions,  it  rejects  all  physical  brutality,  and 
always  appeals  to  fight  with  'spiritual'  means  which, 
strangely  enough,  is  nearest  to  the  heart  of  just  the  most 
unintelligent  people.  This  is  a  result  of  our  semi-education 
which  detaches  the  people  from  the  instinct  of  nature, 
pumps  a  certain  knowledge  into  them  without  being  able 
to  lead  them  to  the  ultimate  realization,  as  for  this  purpose 
industry  and  good  will  alone  are  not  useful,  but  the  neces- 
sary reason  has  to  be  present,  and  not  only  that,  it  has  to 
be  inborn.  The  ultimate  realization,  however,  is  always 
only  the  understanding  of  the  causes  of  the  instinct;  that 
means,  man  will  then  never  fall  into  the  lunacy  of  believing 
that  he  has  now  really  advanced  to  the  position  of  master 
and  lord  of  Nature,  which  the  conceit  of  a  semi-education 
brings  about  so  easily,  but  he  will  then  understand  all  the 
more  the  fundamental  necessity  of  the  working  of  Nature, 
and  he  will  realize  how  far  also  his  existence  is  subjected 
to  these  laws  of  the  eternal  battle  and  struggle  in  an  up- 
ward direction.  We  will  then  feel  that,  in  a  world  in  which 
the  planets  circle  around  the  sun,  where  moons  ride  around 
planets,  where  power  alone  is  always  the  master  of  weakness 
and  forces  it  into  obedient  service  or  else  breaks  it,  there 
can  be  no  special  laws  valid  for  man.  For  him  also  the 
eternal  principles  of  this  ultimate  wisdom  apply.  He  can 
try  to  comprehend  them,  but  he  will  never  be  able  to  free 
himself  from  them. 

But  it  is  just  for  our  intellectual  demi-monde  that  the 
Jew  writes  his  so-called  intellectual  press.    For  them  the 

The  Berliner  Tageblatt,  edited  by  Theodor  Wolff,  was  the 
paper  the  Nazis  most  hated,  excepting  the  much  less  influential 
Gerade  Weg,  of  Munich.  On  the  day  the  Party  came  to  power, 
offices  of  the  second  journal  were  smashed  to  bits  and  the  editor 
—  Dr.  Fritz  Gerlich  —  was  jailed.  He  was  eventually  executed. 
Theodor  Wolff  escaped  from  Germany  in  1933. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  335 

Frankfurter  Zeitung  and  the  Berliner  TageblaU  are  made, 
for  them  their  tone  is  tuned,  and  on  them  finally  they  exer- 
cise their  influence.  By  avoiding  most  carefully  all  forms 
seeming  outwardly  rude,  they  nevertheless  pour  the  poison 
from  other  vessels  into  the  hearts  of  their  readers.  Under  a 
geseires  [Yiddish;  from  the  Hebrew  gezera,  meaning  unnec- 
essary talk]  of  nice  sounds  and  phrases  they  lull  them  into 
the  faith  as  though  really  pure  science  or  even  morality  were 
the  driving  forces  behind  their  activity,  while  in  reality  it  is 
only  the  ingenious  and  cunning  art  of  stealing  in  this  man- 
ner from  the  hand  of  the  enemy  the  weapon  against  the 
press.  For  while  some  are  dripping  with  decency,  all  weak 
heads  are  the  more  inclined  to  believe  that  with  the  others 
it  is  a  case  of  only  minor  excrescences,  which,  however, 
should  never  be  allowed  to  lead  to  an  infringement  of  the 
freedom  of  the  press  (as  one  calls  this  nuisance  of  unpunish- 
able lying  to,  and  poisoning  of,  the  people).  Thus  one  shies 
from  proceeding  against  this  banditry,  as  one  fears  that  in 
such  a  case  one  will  immediately  have  the  'decent'  press 
against  oneself;  a  fear  that  is  only  too  justified.  For,  as  soon 
as  one  tries  to  proceed  against  one  of  these  disgraceful 
papers,  immediately  all  the  others  will  take  its  side,  but  by 
no  means  perhaps  in  order  to  endorse  its  kind  of  fight,  Heaven 
forbid ;  only  the  principle  of  the  freedom  of  the  press  and 
of  public  opinion  are  involved ;  this  alone  has  to  be  defended. 
But  the  strongest  man  weakens  in  the  face  of  this  clamor, 
since  it  comes  from  the  mouth  of  only  '  decent '  papers. . . . 
Thus  the  poison  could  penetrate  into  and  work  in  the 
system  of  our  people  without  hindrance  and  without  the 
State  having  the  power  to  master  the  disease.  In  the  ridicu- 
lous and  half-hearted  means  which  it  applied  against  it  is 
shown  the  threatening  decay  of  the  Reich.  For  an  institu- 
tion which  is  no  longer  determined  to  defend  itself  with  all 
weapons  practically  gives  itself  up.  Every  half  measure  is 
then  the  visible  symptom  of  internal  decay  which  will 


336  MEIN  KAMPF 

and  must  be  followed,  sooner  or  later,  by  external  col- 
lapse. 

I  believe  that  the  present  generation,  rightly  guided, 
will  more  easily  overcome  this  danger.  It  has  experienced 
several  things  which  were  able  to  strengthen  the  nerves  of 
those  who  did  not  lose  them  altogether.  Surely  in  the 
future,  the  Jew  will  certainly  raise  an  enormous  clamor  in 
his  newspapers,  once  the  hand  is  put  on  his  favorite  nest 
and  an  end  is  made  of  the  misuse  of  the  press,  and  once 
also  this  instrument  of  education  is  put  into  the  service  of 
the  State  and  is  no  longer  left  in  the  hand  of  strangers  and 
enemies  of  the  people.  But  I  also  believe  that  this  will 
annoy  us  younger  ones  less  than  it  once  did  our  fathers. 
A  30  cm.  shell  has  always  hissed  more  than  a  thousand 
Jewish  newspaper  vipers;  therefore  let  them  hiss. 


t  A  further  example  for  the  half-heartedness  and  the  weak- 
ness of  the  leading  authority  in  pre-War  Germany  in  the 
most  important  vital  questions  of  the  nation  can  be  the 
following:  Parallel  with  the  political  and  moral  infection 
of  the  people  went  a  no  less  terrible  poisoning  of  the  health 
of  the  national  body.  Syphilis  began  to  spread  more  and 
more,  especially  in  the  great  cities,  while  tuberculosis  was 
steadily  reaping  its  harvest  of  death  almost  throughout  the 
entire  country. 
Although  in  both  cases  the  consequences  for  the  nation 

This  extensive  philippic  against  syphilis  is  among  the  most 
interesting  passages  in  Mein  Kampf.  Much  medical  or  pseudo- 
medical  speculation  has  been  built  up  round  about  it,  with 
which  we  do  not  associate  ourselves.  The  essential  point  is 
that  syphilis  and  Rassenschande  (i.e.,  cohabitation  between  a 
German  and  a  person  of  impure  blood)  are  placed  on  the  same 
level.  The  first  can  be  cured,  however.  The  second  i»  irre- 
parable. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  337 

were  terrible,  one  could  no  longer  bring  oneself  to  take 
decisive  measures. 

Towards  syphilis  especially  one  can  describe  the  attitude 
of  the  national  and  State  authority  only  with  the  words, 
complete  capitulation.  If  one  wanted  to  fight  it  seriously, 
one  had  to  take  quite  different  steps  than  was  actually  the 
case.  The  invention  of  a  remedy  of  a  questionable  character 
as  well  as  the  commercial  exploitation  of  the  latter  are  able 
to  help  but  little  with  this  plague.  Also  here  only  the  fight 
against  the  causes  should  be  considered  and  not  the  aboli- 
tion of  the  symptoms.  The  cause,  however,  lies  primarily 
in  our  prostitution  of  love.  Even  if  the  result  of  this  were 
not  this  terrible  disease,  yet  it  would  still  be  of  deepest 
danger  for  the  people,  for  the  moral  devastation  which  this 
depravity  brings  with  it  are  sufficient  to  destroy  a  people 
slowly  but  surely.  The  Judaization  of  our  spiritual  life  and 
the  mammonization  [sic]  of  our  mating  impulse  sooner  or 
later  befouls  our  entire  new  generation,  for  instead  of  vig- 
orous children  of  natural  feeling,  only  the  miserable  speci- 
mens of  financial  expedience  come  forth.  For  this  becomes 
more  and  more  the  basis  and  the  only  prerequisite  for  our 
marriages.  Love,  however,  finds  an  outlet  somewhere  else. 

Naturally,  one  can  also  here  mock  Nature  for  a  certain 
time,  but  the  revenge  will  not  fail  to  appear,  it  only  will 
appear  later,  or  rather,  it  is  often  recognized  too  late  by 
the  people. 

However,  how  devastating  are  the  consequences  of  a 
continued  disregard  of  the  natural  presuppositions  for  mar- 
riage can  be  demonstrated  by  our  aristocracy.  Here  one 
is  presented  with  the  results  of  a  propagation  which  has 
been  based  for  one  part  on  purely  social  compulsion,  for 
the  other  on  financial  reasons.  The  one  leads  to  weakening 
altogether,  the  other  to  blood  poisoning,  as  now  every 
department-store  Jewess  is  considered  suitable  to  augment 
the  offspring  of  'His  Highness.9  The  latter  then  looks  like 


131  MEIN  KAMPF 

it.  In  both  cases  complete  degeneration  is  the  consequence. 

Our  'middle  class9  takes  pains  today  to  walk  the  same 
way  and  it  will  end  at  the  same  goal. 

With  indifferent  haste  one  tries  to  pass  by  disagreeable 
truths,  as  though  by  such  an  attitude  one  could  make  these 
things  undone.  No,  the  fact  that  the  population  of  our  big 
cities  is  prostituted  more  and  more  in  its  love  life,  and  that 
just  through  this  it  falls  victim  to  syphilis  in  more  and 
wider  circles,  cannot  just  be  abolished  by  denying  it;  it  is 
there.  The  most  obvious  results  of  this  mass  contagion 
can  be  found  on  the  one  hand  in  the  lunatic  asylums,  and 
on  the  other,  unfortunately,  in  our  —  children.  These  es- 
pecially are  the  sad  certificates  of  misery  of  the  irresistibly 
advancing  tainting  of  our  sexual  life;  in  the  diseases  of  the 
children  the  vices  of  the  parents  are  revealed. 

Now  there  are  different  ways  to  reconcile  oneself  with 
this  disagreeable,  even  terrible  fact:  some  do  not  see  any- 
thing at  all,  or  rather  they  do  not  want  to  see  anything: 
this  is  of  course  by  far  the  most  simple  and  cheapest  'atti- 
tude'; others  wrap  themselves  in  a  saintly  cloak  of  prudish- 
ness  that  is  as  ridiculous  as  it  is  also  mendacious;  they  only 
talk  of  this  entire  domain  as  if  it  were  a  great  sin,  and, 
above  all,  in  the  presence  of  every  sinner  caught  in  the 
act,  they  express  their  deeply  felt  inner  indignation  in  order 
then  to  close  their  eyes  in  pious  disgust  towards  this  vicious 
disease  and  to  ask  God  (if  possible  after  their  own  death) 
to  rain  fire  and  brimstone  upon  this  Sodom  and  Gomorrah 
in  order  once  again  to  make  an  elevating  example  of  this 
disgraceful  mankind ;  a  third  group  see  very  well  the  terrible 
consequences  which  this  disease  is  bound  to,  and  will,  bring 
with  it,  but  nevertheless  they  only  shrug  their  shoulders, 
convinced  that  they  can  do  nothing  against  this  danger, 
anyhow,  so  that  one  has  to  let  things  go  as  they  are  going. 

All  this  is  of  course  comfortable  and  simple,  only  one 
must  not  forget  that  a  nation  will  fall  victim  to  such  inertia* 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  339 

The  excuse  that  the  other  nations  are  no  better  off  of 
course  can  hardly  change  anything  In  respect  to  the  fact 
of  their  own  decline,  except  perhaps  that  the  feeling  that 
others  also  meet  with  misfortune  would  bring  for  many  a 
mitigation  of  their  own  pains.  However,  the  question  is 
then  all  the  more  which  nation  first  and  by  itself  is  able 
to  master  this  plague,  and  which  nations  cannot  help  per- 
ishing. But  that  is  what  matters  in  the  end.  This  also  is 
only  a  touchstone  for  the  value  of  a  race,  and  that  race 
which  does  not  pass  the  test  will  die  and  make  room  for 
races  healthier  or  at  least  tougher  and  of  greater  resistance. 
For,  since  this  question  primarily  concerns  the  coming  gen- 
eration, it  belongs  to  those  of  whom  it  is  said,  with  terrible 
correctness,  that  the  sins  of  the  fathers  are  visited  upon 
the  tenth  generation. 

But  this  is  valid  only  for  the  sins  against  blood  and  race. 

The  sin  against  the  blood  and  the  degradation  of  the  race 
are  the  hereditary  sin  of  this  world  and  the  end  of  a  mankind 
surrendering  to  them. 

But  how  truly  miserably  did  the  Germany  of  pre-War 
times  face  just  this  one  question.  What  was  done  in  order 
to  check  the  tainting  of  our  young  generation  in  the  big 
cities?  What  was  done  to  attack  the  infecting  and  mam- 
monization  [sic]  of  our  love  life?  What,  in  order  to  fight 
the  resulting  syphilization  of  our  national  body? 

The  answer  is  most  easily  given  by  stating  what  should 
have  been  done. 

First,  one  should  not  be  allowed  to  take  this  question 
too  easily,  but  to  understand  that  upon  its  solution  will 
depend  the  happiness  or  the  unhappiness  of  generations, 
nay,  that  it  may  be  or  even  must  be  decisive  for  the  entire 
future  of  our  people.  Such  a  realization,  however,  required 
ruthless  measures  and  interventions.  At  the  top  of  all  re- 
flections the  conviction  should  have  been  placed  that  first 
of  all  the  attention  of  the  entire  nation  has  to  be  concen- 


340  MEIN  KAMPF 

trated  on  this  terrible  danger,  so  that  every  single  indi- 
vidual becomes  conscious  in  his  mind  of  the  significance  of 
this  fight.  One  can  bring  obligations  and  burdens  which 
are  incisive,  and  sometimes  hard  to  bear,  to  a  general  effec- 
tiveness only  when,  apart  from  compulsion,  also  the  real- 
ization of  the  necessity  of  this  activity  is  given  to  the 
individual.  But  this  demands  an  enormous  enlightenment 
to  the  exclusion  of  all  current  questions  which  have  an 
otherwise  deviating  effect. 

In  all  cases  which  involve  the  fulfillment  of  apparently 
impossible  demands  or  tasks,  the  entire  attention  of  a  people 
has  to  be  united  uniformly  on  this  one  question  in  such  a 
manner  as  though  indeed  its  existence  or  non-existence  de- 
pended upon  its  solution.  Only  thus  will  one  make  a  people 
willing  and  able  to  undertake  truly  great  achievements 
and  efforts. 

This  principle  is  valid  also  for  the  individual,  as  far 
as  he  wishes  to  attain  great  goals.  He,  too,  will  be  able 
to  do  this  only  in  step-like  sections.  He,  too,  will  then 
always  have  to  unite  his  entire  efforts  on  the  reaching  of 
a  certain  limited  task,  until  this  seems  to  be  fulfilled  and 
the  marking  of  a  new  section  can  be  undertaken.  He  who 
does  not  carry  out  the  partition  of  the  way  to  be  conquered 
into  single  sections,  and  then  tries  to  conquer  them  plan- 
fully  with  sharpest  concentration  of  all  forces,  one  by  one, 
will  never  be  able  to  arrive  at  the  goal,  but  he  will  remain 
lying  somewhere  on  the  way,  perhaps  even  by  the  side  of  it. 
This  gradual  approach  to  a  goal  by  work  is  an  art  and  it 
requires  at  a  time  the  staking  of  actually  the  utmost  energy 
in  order  to  conquer  the  way,  step  by  step. 

This  is,  therefore,  the  very  first  preliminary  condition 
which  is  necessary  for  the  attack  on  so  difficult  a  part  of 
the  human  way,  the  condition  that  the  leadership  succeeds 
in  presenting  to  the  masses  of  the  people  just  that  part  of 
the  goal  which  has  to  be  reached,  or,  rather,  which  has  to 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  341 

be  fought  for,  as  the  one  that  is  now  solely  and  alone 
worthy  of  human  attention,  and  upon  the  conquest  of 
which  everything  depends.  The  great  masses  of  the  people, 
anyhow,  can  never  see  the  whole  way  before  them  with- 
out getting  tired  and  without  despairing  of  the  task.  They 
will  keep  the  goal  before  their  eyes  only  to  a  certain  extent, 
but  they  will  be  able  to  visualize  the  way  only  in  small 
sections,  similar  to  the  wanderer  who  also  knows  and  is 
aware  of  the  end  of  his  journey,  but  who  overcomes  the 
endless  road  better  if  he  cuts  it  up  into  sections  and  now 
marches  ahead  towards  each  single  one,  as  though  this 
were  the  desired  goal.  Only  thus  he  advances  without 
despairing. 

Thus,  by  employing  all  propagandistic  auxiliary  means, 
one  should  have  made  the  fight  against  syphilis  appear  as 
the  task  of  the  nation,  not  as  one  task  among  others.  For 
this  purpose  one  should  have  hammered  into  the  people  its 
evils  as  the  most  terrible  misfortune  in  its  full  extent,  and 
under  application  of  all  auxiliary  measures,  till  the  whole 
nation  should  have  come  to  the  conviction  that  upon  the 
solution  of  this  question  really  everything  depends,  future 
or  doom. 

Only  after  such  a  preparation,  carried  out  for  years  if 

To  date  the  'extensive  propaganda*  anent  syphilis  has  not 
been  one  of  the  principal  achievements  of  the  Third  Reich. 
In  1933  strong  measures  were  taken  to  curb  prostitution. 
Under  the  Republic,  the  Berlin  Department  of  Health  had 
taken  the  view  that  all  the  State  could  intelligently  do  was  to 
control  the  health  of  the  street- walker.  The  changes  in  the 
law  resulted,  however,  in  40,000  new  cases  of  syphilis  within 
a  few  months  (according  to  an  official  report).  Recently  there 
has  been  a  tendency  to  control  the  effects  of  social  disease  by 
examining  persons  who  wish  to  marry,  especially  if  they  seek  a 
loan  from  the  government  in  accordance  with  the  laws  provid- 
ing grants  of  aid  to  prospective  bridegrooms. 


342  MEIN  KAMPF 

necessary,  will  the  attention,  and  with  it  also  the  determina- 
tion, of  a  whole  people  be  awakened  to  such  an  extent  that 
now  one  will  be  able  to  take  very  difficult  and  sacrificial 
measures  without  running  the  risk  that  one  will  not  be 
understood  or  that  one  will  suddenly  be  left  in  the  lurch 
by  the  willingness  of  the  masses. 

For,  in  order  to  attack  this  plague  seriously,  enormous 
sacrifices  and  works  just  as  great  are  necessary. 

The  fight  against  syphilis  requires  a  fight  against  prosti- 
tution, against  prejudices,  old  habits,  against  previous 
ideas,  general  opinions,  amongst  them  last  but  not  least, 
against  the  mendacious  prudishness  in  certain  circles,  etc. 

The  first  condition  for  only  the  moral  right  to  fight 
against  these  things  is  to  make  early  marriage  possible  for 
the  coming  generation.  In  late  marriages  alone  lies  the 
compulsion  for  keeping  an  institution  which,  no  matter 
how  much  one  may  turn  and  twist  oneself,  is  and  remains 
a  disgrace  to  mankind,  an  institution  which  damned  badly 
suits  a  being  who  otherwise  in  modesty  likes  to  consider 
itself  the  'image'  of  God. 

Prostitution  is  a  disgrace  to  mankind,  but  one  cannot 
abolish  it  by  moral  lectures,  pious  intentions,  etc.,  but  its 
limitation  and  its  final  elimination  warrant  the  abolition 
of  quite  a  number  of  preliminary  conditions.  But  the  first 
is  and  remains  the  creation  of  the  possibility  of  early 
marriage,  according  to  human  nature,  above  all  for  the 
man;  because  the  woman  is  here  only  the  passive  part, 
anyhow. 

However,  how  erring,  even  how  incomprehensible  the 
people  have  partly  become  today  may  be  derived  from  the 
fact  that  one  not  seldom  hears  mothers  of  the  so-called 
'better*  society  say  that  they  are  grateful  to  find  a  husband 
for  their  child  who  has  'already  sown  his  wild  oats/  etc. 
As  in  this  direction  there  is  in  most  cases  less  shortage  than 
would  be  the  case  the  other  way  round,  the  poor  girl 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  343 

therefore  will  fortunately  find  such  a  de-horned  Siegfried, 
and  the  children  will  be  the  visible  result  of  such  a  'sen- 
sible1 marriage.  If  one  considers  that,  apart  from  this,  a 
restriction  of  propagation  itself,  as  far  as  possible,  takes 
place,  so  that  Nature  is  barred  from  all  choice,  as  now 
naturally  every  human  being,  no  matter  how  miserable, 
has  to  be  kept  alive,  there  remains  only  the  question  why 
then  such  an  institution  still  exists  at  all  and  what  purpose 
it  is  supposed  to  have?  Is  this  then  not  exactly  the  same 
as  prostitution  itself?  Does  then  the  duty  towards  poster- 
ity no  longer  play  any  r&le  at  all?  Or  does  one  not  realize 
with  what  curse  one  burdens  oneself,  towards  children  and 
children's  children,  by  such  a  criminally  careless  manner 
in  the  guarding  of  the  ultimate  right  of  Nature  and  even 
of  the  ultimate  obligation  towards  Nature? 

Thus  the  cultured  people  degenerate  and  perish  gradually. 

Marriage  also  cannot  be  an  end  in  itself,  but  has  to 
serve  the  one  greater  aim,  the  propagation  and  preserva- 
tion of  the  species  and  the  race.  Only  this  is  its  meaning 
and  its  task. 

But  if  this  is  true,  then  its  soundness  can  be  measured 
only  by  the  manner  in  which  it  fulfills  this  purpose.  Evea 
for  this  reason,  an  early  marriage  is  right,  as  it  gives  the 
young  marriage  still  that  force  from  which  alone  a  healthy 
generation,  capable  of  resisting,  can  ensue.  Of  course,  to 
make  this  possible,  quite  a  series  of  social  conditions  are 
necessary  without  which  one  cannot  think  of  an  early 
marriage.  Therefore,  the  solution  of  this  question,  which 
is  so  small,  cannot  take  place  without  incisive  measures  in 

Prior  to  1925,  the  Republic  had,  it  is  true,  been  able  to  do 
very  little  towards  solving  the  problem  of  housing.  The  end 
of  the  War  not  only  brought  the  army  back  home,  but  also 
forced  into  the  larger  cities  a  constant  stream  of  refugees  from 
territories  sundered  from  Germany  by  the  peace  treaties. 


344  MEIN  KAMPF 

social  regard.  What  importance  must  be  attributed  to 
these  should  be  understood  most  of  all  in  a  time  when  the 
so-called  'social'  republic,  by  its  inability  in  the  solution 
of  the  housing  question  alone,  simply  prevents  numerous 
marriages  and  thus  favors  prostitution. 

The  absurdity  of  our  way  of  arranging  salaries,  which 
considers  the  question  of  the  family  and  its  support  far 
too  little,  is  also  a  reason  which  makes  so  many  an  early 
marriage  impossible. 

Therefore,  one  can  approach  a  real  fight  against  prosti- 
tution only  if,  by  a  fundamental  change  of  social  condi- 
tions, earlier  marriage  than  can  take  place  now  is  made 


It  is  sometimes  estimated  that  1,000,000  persons  migrated 
from  the  regions  ceded  to  Poland.  In  addition  the  country 
was  overrun  with  fugitives  from  Russia  and  the  Baltic  States. 
The  government  had  no  money;  and  during  the  period  of  in- 
flation the  very  sources  from  which  revenue  might  have  been 
obtained  dried  up.  But  as  soon  as  the  Dawes  Plan  went  into 
effect,  housing  plans  of  vast  dimensions  got  under  way.  During 
the  four  years  beginning  with  1925,  Germany  erected  more 
homes  than  did  any  other  European  country  in  the  same 
period.  There  was  much  argument  concerning  the  character 
of  the  work  done.  Socialist  municipal  governments,  often 
committed  to  family  limitation,  favored  apartment  houses; 
Catholic  and  Protestant  agencies,  which  sought  to  promote 
'normal'  family  life,  tried  whenever  possible  to  erect  one- 
family  houses.  Sometimes,  as  in  Cologne,  the  expenditures 
drew  from  critics  the  complaint  that  bankruptcy  was  inevitable. 
Under  National  Socialism,  the  trend  has  predominatingly 
been  towards  one-family  housing.  This  has  been  aided  by  a 
marked  tendency  on  the  part  of  middle-class  families  to  place 
their  savings  in  real  property.  Yet  there  is  no  essential  differ- 
ence between  1928  and  1935  in  this  regard,  though  such  a  build 
ing  as  the  huge  apartment-house  erected  in  Neu-K6lln. 
Berlin,  under  the  Republic  would  hardly  be  erected  today. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  345 

generally  possible.  This  is  the  very  first  preliminary  con- 
dition for  a  solution  of  this  question. 

In  the  second  place,  however,  education  and  training 
have  to  eliminate  quite  a  series  of  evils  about  which  one 
hardly  cares  at  all  today.  Above  all,  in  our  present-day 
education  a  balance  between  intellectual  instruction  and 
physical  training  has  to  take  place.  What  today  calls 
itself  a  gymnasium  is  an  insult  to  the  Greek  example.  With 
our  education  one  has  entirely  forgotten  that  in  the  long 
run  a  healthy  mind  is  able  to  dwell  only  in  a  healthy  body. 
Especially  when,  with  a  few  exceptions,  one  looks  at  the 
great  masses  of  the  people,  this  principle  receives  absolute 
validity. 

In  pre-War  Germany  there  was  a  time  when  one  no 
longer  cared  for  this  truth.  One  simply  went  on  sinning 
against  the  body,  and  one  thought  that  in  the  one-sided 
training  of  the  'mind'  one  possessed  a  safe  guaranty  for 
the  greatness  of  the  nation.  A  mistake  which  began  to 
avenge  itself  much  sooner  than  one  thought.  It  is  no  acci- 
dent that  the  bolshevistic  wave  found  nowhere  a  better 
ground  than  in  those  places  where  a  population,  degener- 
ated by  hunger  and  constant  undernourishment,  lives:  in 
Central  Germany,  Saxony,  and  the  Ruhr  district.  In  all 
these  districts,  however,  a  serious  resistance  on  the  part 
of  the  so-called  '  intelligentsia '  to  this  Jewish  disease  hardly 
takes  place  any  longer  for  the  simple  reason  that  the  in- 
telligentsia itself  is  physically  completely  degenerated, 
though  less  by  reasons  of  distress  than  by  reasons  of  edu- 
cation. The  exclusively  intellectual  attitude  of  our  edu- 
cation of  the  higher  classes  makes  them  unable  —  in  a 
time  where  not  the  mind  but  the  fist  decides  —  even  to 
preserve  themselves,  let  alone  to  hold  their  ground.  In 
physical  deficiencies  there  lies  not  infrequently  the  first 
cause  of  personal  cowardice. 

The  exceeding  stress  on  a  purely  intellectual  training 


346  MEIN  KAMPF 

and  the  neglect  of  physical  training  favor  also  in  much 
too  early  youth  the  formation  of  sexual  conceptions.  The 
boy  who,  by  sports  and  gymnastics,  is  brought  to  an  iron- 
like  inurement  succumbs  less  to  the  need  of  sensual  grati- 
fication than  the  stay-at-home  who  is  fed  exclusively  on 
intellectual  food.  A  reasonable  education,  however,  must 
take  this  into  consideration.  Further,  it  must  not  forget 
that  on  the  part  of  the  healthy  young  man  the  expectations 
of  the  woman  will  be  different  than  on  the  part  of  a  pre- 
maturely corrupted  weakling.^ 

Thus  the  entire  education  has  to  be  directed  towards 
employing  the  free  time  of  the  boy  for  the  useful  training 
of  his  body.  He  has  no  right  to  loaf  about  idly  in  these 
years,  to  make  streets  and  movie  theaters  insecure,  but 
after  his  daily  work  he  has  to  steel  and  harden  his  young 
body  so  that  life  will  not  find  him  too  soft  some  day.  To 
get  this  under  way  and  also  to  carry  it  out,  to  guide  and 
to  lead  is  the  task  of  the  education  of  youth,  and  not  the 
exclusive  infiltration  of  so-called  wisdom.  It  has  also  to 
do  away  with  the  conception  that  the  treatment  of  the 
body  were  the  concern  of  each  individual.  There  is  no 
liberty  to  sin  at  the  expense  of  posterity  and,  with  it,  of 
the  race. 

Parallel  with  the  training  of  the  body,  the  fight  against 
the  poisoning  of  the  soul  has  to  set  in.  Our  entire  public 
life  today  resembles  a  hothouse  of  sexual  conceptions  and 
stimulants.  One  has  only  to  look  at  the  menus  of  our 
movie  houses,  vaudevilles,  and  theaters;  and  one  can 
hardly  deny  that  this  is  not  the  right  kind  of  food,  above 
all  for  youth.  In  shop  windows  and  on  billboards  one 
works  with  the  basest  means  in  order  to  attract  the  atten- 
tion of  the  masses.  That  this  is  bound  to  lead  to  serious 
damage  to  youth  is  probably  clear  to  everyone  who  has 
not  lost  the  ability  to  imagine  himself  in  the  place  of  a 
youth's  soul.  This  sensual  sultry  atmosphere  leads  to 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  347 

ideas  and  stimulations  at  a  time  when  the  boy  ought  not 
yet  to  have  an  understanding  for  such  things.  The  result 
of  this  education  can  be  studied  in  a  not  very  enjoyable 
way  with  the  youth  of  today.  From  the  courtrooms  events 
sometimes  penetrate  to  the  public  which  permit  a  horrible 
insight  into  the  inner  life  of  our  fourteen-  and  fifteen-year- 
old  youths.  Who  will  wonder,  therefore,  that  even  in  the 
circles  of  this  age  syphilis  begins  to  seek  its  victims?  And 
is  it  not  a  misery  to  see  how  so  many  physically  weak,  and 
also  mentally  corrupt,  young  men  receive  their  initiation 
into  marriage  by  a  whore  of  the  big  cities? 

No,  he  who  wants  to  attack  prostitution  must  primarily 
help  to  abolish  the  mental  presupposition  for  it.  He  has 
to  clear  away  the  filth  of  the  moral  contamination  of  the 
*  culture'  of  our  big  cities,  and  this  ruthlessly  and  without 

There  is  no  doubt  that  one  of  the  sources  of  Nazi  strength 
lies  in  the  sanity  of  its  attitude  towards  youth  as  compared 
with  the  view  taken  on  the  whole  by  German  Communism. 
This  last  had  a  baneful  hedonistic  core :  —  the  result  of  the 
fact  that  it  stressed  the  rights  of  the  masses  far  more  effectively 
than  it  did  their  duties.  A  good  many  sound  people  turned  to 
Hitlerism  because  they  could  not  stomach  such  Communist 
demands  as  these :  free  contraceptives,  family  aid  to  unmarried 
lovers,  and  'week-ends.'  However  arguable  it  may  be  that 
young  people  without  money  will  not  abstain  from  love  rela- 
tionships, it  is  nevertheless  a  prevalent  belief  that  society  ia 
something  more  than  just  an  institute  for  having  a  'good  time.' 
However  sinister  the  ultimate  objectives  of  the  Nazis  may  be, 
there  is  no  doubt  that  Hitler's  soldier  helpers  have  often  in- 
culcated a  healthier  attitude  towards  life. 

Unfortunately,  the  good  thus  accomplished  has  in  part  been 
destroyed  again  by  forces  inherent  in  the  Nazi  dynamic.  The 
Nazi  youth  organizations  take  up  ao  much  of  the  boy  or  girl'i 
leisure  time  that  little  is  left  for  the  hearth-side.  Moreover, 
the  'anti-bourgeois'  doctrine  inculcated  tends  to  make  th« 


348  MEIN  KAMPF 

hesitating  despite  all  clamor  and  lamentations  which  then, 
of  course,  will  be  let  loose.  If  we  do  not  lift  our  youth  out 
of  the  morass  of  its  present  surroundings,  it  will  be  sub- 
merged in  it.  He  who  does  not  want  to  see  these  things 
supports  them  and  becomes  thus  a  fellow  culprit  in  the 
slow  prostitution  of  our  future,  for  the  latter  lies  in  the 
coming  generation.  This  cleaning-up  of  our  culture  must 
extend  to  nearly  all  domains.  Theater,  art,  literature, 
movies,  the  press,  billposters  and  window  displays  must  be 
cleaned  of  the  symptoms  of  a  rotting  world  and  put  into 
the  service  of  a  moral  idea  of  State  and  culture.  Public 
life  has  to  be  freed  from  the  suffocating  perfume  of  our 
modern  eroticism,  exactly  as  also  of  all  unmanly  prudish 
insincerity.  In  all  these  things  the  goal  and  the  way  have 
to  be  determined  by  the  care  for  the  preservation  of  our 
people's  health  in  body  and  soul.  The  right  of  personal 
freedom  steps  back  in  the  face  of  the  duty  of  the  preserva- 
tion of  the  race. 

f  Only  after  the  execution  of  these  measures  can  the 
medical  fight  against  this  disease  itself  be  carried  on  with 
some  prospects  of  success.  However,  here,  too,  the  ques- 
tion involved  cannot  be  that  of  half  measures,  but  also 
here  one  will  have  to  come  to  the  most  serious  and  most 
incisive  decisions.  It  is  a  half  measure  to  allow  incurably 
ill  people  the  permanent  possibility  of  contaminating  the 


domestic  virtues  seem  tame.  Henri  Lichtenberger  concludes 
(The  Third  Reich)  that  'the  gulf  between  generations,  far  from 
being  bridged,  is  only  becoming  greater  under  the  Spartan 
regime  installed  by  Hitlerism.'  Moral  conditions  are  often 
deplorable,  judged  by  standards  of  Christian  or  bourgeois 
morality.  The  fact  that  an  illegitimate  child,  if  born  of  'good 
stock/  is  considered  an  asset  to  the  Reich  seems  to  have  made 
many  young  girls  lose  their  heads;  and  an  increase  in  the 
practice  of  homosexual  vice  is  conceded  on  all  sides. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  349 

other  healthy  ones.  But  this  corresponds  entirely  to  a 
humaneness  which,  in  order  not  to  hurt  one  individual, 
lets  hundreds  of  others  perish.  The  demand  that  for  de- 
fective people  the  propagation  of  an  equally  defective  off- 
spring be  made  impossible  is  a  demand  of  clearest  reason 
and  in  its  planful  execution  it  means  the  most  humane  act 
of  mankind.  It  will  spare  undeserved  suffering  to  millions 
of  unfortunates,  but  in  the  future  it  will  lead  to  an  increas- 
ing improvement  of  health  on  the  whole.  The  determina- 
tion to  proceed  in  this  direction  will  also  put  up  a  dam 
against  the  further  spreading  of  venereal  diseases.  For 
here,  if  necessary,  one  will  have  to  proceed  to  the  pitiless 
isolation  of  incurably  diseased  people;  a  barbaric  measure 
for  one  who  was  unfortunate  enough  to  be  stricken  with  it, 
but  a  blessing  for  the  contemporaries  and  for  posterity. 
The  temporary  pain  of  a  century  may  and  will  redeem 
millenniums  from  suffering. 

The  fight  against  syphilis  and  its  pacemaker,  prostitu- 
tion, is  one  of  the  most  colossal  tasks  of  mankind,  colossal 
for  the  reason  that  it  does  not  involve  the  solution  of  a 
single  question  in  itself,  but  rather  the  abolition  of  quite 
a  series  of  evils  which,  as  their  consecutive  symptoms, 
give  the  cause  for  this  disease.  For  the  illness  of  the  body 
is  here  only  the  result  of  an  illness  of  moral,  social,  and 
racial  instincts. 

If  this  fight,  by  reason  of  inertia  or  also  cowardice,  is 
not  fought  out,  then  one  should  look  upon  the  nations  five 
hundred  years  from  now.  Then  one  would  be  able  to  find 
only  a  few  images  of  God,  without  deliberately  insulting 
the  All  Highest. 

But  how,  in  the  old  Germany,  had  one  tried  to  deal  with 
this  plague?  Upon  quiet  examination  there  results  a  really 
distressing  answer  to  this.  In  the  circles  of  the  government 
one  certainly  knew  the  terrible  ravages  of  this  illness  very 
well,  though  one  was  perhaps  not  quite  able  to  visualize 


350  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  consequences;  but  in  the  fight  against  it  one  failed 
completely,  and  instead  of  thoroughgoing  reforms  one 
preferred  to  take  miserable  means.  One  doctored  about 
with  the  disease  and  one  let  the  causes  be  causes.  One 
subjected  the  individual  prostitute  to  a  medical  examina- 
tion, supervised  her  as  well  as  might  be  possible,  and  in 
case  of  an  ascertained  illness  put  her  into  some  hospital, 
from  which,  after  being  outwardly  cured,  she  was  let  loose 
again  on  the  rest  of  mankind. 

Of  course,  one  had  introduced  a  'protective  paragraph,9 
according  to  which  a  person  who  was  not  quite  healthy  or 
cured  had  under  penalty  to  avoid  sexual  intercourse.  This 
measure  is  certainly  right  in  itself,  but  in  its  practical 
execution  it  fails  almost  completely.  First,  the  woman,  in 
case  she  is  met  by  misfortune  in  this  way,  solely  in  conse- 
quence of  our,  or  rather  of  her,  education,  will  in  most 
cases  refuse  to  let  herself  be  dragged  into  the  courtroom 
(under  accompanying  circumstances  which  are  certainly 
often  embarrassing)  as  a  witness  against  the  wretched  thief 
of  her  health.  Just  to  her  this  is  of  little  use;  anyhow,  in 
most  cases,  she  will  be  the  one  who  has  to  suffer  most  from 
this;  because  she  is  hit  much  harder  by  the  contempt  of 
her  heartless  surroundings  than  would  be  the  case  with 
the  man.  But  finally,  imagine  her  situation  if  the  conveyer 
of  the  disease  is  her  own  husband.  Is  she  to  put  him  on 
trial?  Or  what  else,  then,  is  she  to  do? 

But  in  the  case  of  the  man  the  fact  is  added  that  he 
unfortunately  runs  only  too  often  into  the  way  of  this 
plague  after  ample  consumption  of  liquor,  as  in  this  state 
he  is  least  in  a  position  to  judge  the  qualities  of  his 4  beauty ' ; 
a  fact  that  is  only  too  well  known  to  the  prostitute  who  is 
sick,  anyhow,  and  that,  for  this  reason,  causes  her  always 
to  fish  for  men  in  this  ideal  condition.  But  the  end  is  that 
he,  disagreeably  surprised  later  on,  is  not  able  to  remember 
his  one-time  compassionate  benefactress,  despite  frantic 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  351 

reflections,  something  that  must  not  be  surprising  in  a  city 
like  Berlin  or  even  Munich.  To  this  is  added  further  that 
the  persons  involved  are  frequently  visitors  from  the  pro- 
vinces who  in  any  case  face  the  whole  humbug  of  the  big 
cities  with  complete  perplexity. 

Finally,  however,  who  is  able  to  know  whether  he  is 
sick  or  healthy?  Do  not  numerous  cases  occur  where  an 
apparently  cured  person  suffers  relapses  and  now  causes 
the  most  terrible  evil,  without  himself  being  aware  of  it 
in  the  end? 

Thus  the  practical  effect  of  this  protection  by  the  legal 
penalty  of  a  guilty  infection  is  in  reality  equal  to  naught. 
Exactly  the  same  can  be  said  of  the  control  of  the  prosti- 
tutes, and  finally  also  the  cure  itself  is  still  uncertain  and 
doubtful  even  today.  Only  one  thing  is  certain :  the  disease 
spreads  more  and  more  despite  all  the  preventive  measures 
of  that  time.  By  this,  however,  the  ineffectiveness  of  these 
measures  is  proved  in  the  most  striking  way. 

For  everything  that  was  done  besides  this  was  as  ridicu- 
lous as  it  was  insufficient.  The  fight  against  the  prostitu- 
tion of  the  people's  soul  failed  on  the  entire  line;  that  means 
more  rightly  that  here  one  did  nothing  at  all. 

But  he  who  wants  to  understand  this  easily  need  only 
study  the  statistical  basic  facts  about  the  spreading  of  this 
plague,  compare  its  growth  during  the  last  hundred  years, 
and  try  to  imagine  this  further  development  —  and  he 
really  would  have  the  simple-mindedness  of  an  ass  if  then 
an  uncomfortable  chill  did  not  run  down  his  spine. 

The  weakness  and  the  half-heartedness  with  which  even 
then  one  defined  one's  attitude  towards  such  a  terrible 
symptom  can  be  evaluated  as  a  visible  sign  of  the  decay  of 
a  people.  When  the  energy  for  the  fight  for  one's  own  health 
is  no  longer  present,  the  right  of  living  in  this  world  of  strength 
begins  gradually  to  withdraw. 

It  belongs  really  only  to  the  powerful  'whole'  and  not 
to  the  weak  'half/ 


352  MEIN  KAMPF 

One  of  the  most  visible  symptoms  of  the  old  Reich's 
decay  was  the  slow  sinking  of  the  general  level  of  culture; 
by  culture  I  do  not  mean  what  is  called  today  by  the  word 
'civilization.'  The  latter  seems  to  be,  on  the  contrary, 
rather  an  enemy  of  true  spiritual  and  living  levels. 

As  early  as  before  the  turn  of  the  century  an  element 
began  to  push  its  way  into  our  att  which  up  to  that  time 
could  be  looked  upon  as  entirely  alien  and  unknown.  Per- 
haps in  previous  times  errors  of  taste  happened  some- 
times, but  the  cases  involved  were  artistic  derailments  to 
which  posterity  at  least  gave  a  certain  historical  value, 
rather  than  products  of  a  degeneration  which  was  no 
longer  artistic  at  all  but  rather  senseless.  Through  them 
the  political  collapse,  which  later  on,  of  course,  became 
better  visible,  began  to  announce  its  arrival  in  the  cultural 
field. 

The  bolshevism  of  art  is  the  only  cultural  form  of  life, 

Here  Hitler  states,  without  philosophical  elaboration,  the 
doctrine  which  some  groups  of  German  intellectuals  accepted 
as  a  bridge  across  which  the  German  mind  could  pass  to  Na- 
tional Socialism.  Civilization  means  the  application  of  reason 
to  life,  a  process  which  scored  its  greatest  triumphs  while 
Germany  was  struggling  to  emerge  from  the  debris  of  the 
Thirty  Years'  War  —  Goethe,  Schiller,  Kant,  not  to  mention 
Lessing  and  Wieland,  are  reflections  of  the  Western  mind 
rather  than  original  creations  of  the  German  soul.  Even  the 
great  medieval  Empire  was  based  upon  the  triumph  of  Chris- 
tianity. Therefore  the  patriot  prefers  to  seek  out  the  'life 
forces,'  the  irrational  impulses,  which  seem  to  him  more  chat- 
acteristic  of  the  German  mind.  This  decision  is  sometimes 
couched  in  desperate  phraseology:  'When  I  hear  the  word 
culture,'  wrote  Hans  Johst  (the  first  official  Nazi  playwright), 
1  release  the  safety  catch  on  my  revolver.'  And  F.  G.  Jtinger  — 
that  half-mad  but  gifted  poet  who  eventually  found  Hitlerism 
•tale  and  unprofitable,  and  went  to  prison  for  having  indited, 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  353 

and  the  only  intellectual  manifestation  possible  to  bolshc- 
vism  on  the  whole. 

He  to  whom  this  may  seem  strange  should  only  subject 
to  an  examination  the  art  of  those  States  which  have  had 
the  good  fortune  of  being  bolshevized,  and  to  his  horror 
he  will  observe  the  sickly  excrescences  of  lunatics  or  of 
degenerate  people  which  since  the  turn  of  the  century  we 
have  learned  to  know  under  the  collective  conception  of 
cubism  or  dadaism  as  the  official  art  of  those  States.  This 
phenomenon  had  become  apparent  even  in  the  short  dura- 
tion of  the  Bavarian  Soviet  Republic.  Even  here  one 
could  see  how  all  the  official  billposters,  propaganda  draw- 
ings in  the  newspapers,  etc.,  showed  the  stamp  of  not 
only  political,  but  also  that  of  cultural,  decay. 

As  little  as  one  could  imagine  about  sixty  years  ago  a 
political  collapse  of  the  greatness  now  arrived  at,  just  as 
little  was  a  cultural  breakdown  thinkable  as  it  began  to 
show  itself  in  futuristic  and  cubistic  representations  since 
1900.  Sixty  years  ago  an  exhibition  of  so-called  dadaistic 


the  most  violent  attack  on  the  Party  ever  penned  inside 
Germany  —  asks,  'Why  do  we  need  four  walls?  One  wall  is 
enough!'  The  wall  is  that  against  which  the  enemy  is  stood 
and  shot.  But  one  is  not  quite  sure  that  J linger  isn't  being 
ironical.  In  so  far  as  the  philosophers  (Klages,  Heidegger, 
Baumler)  are  concerned,  this  development  means  a  revival  of 
certain  aspects  of  early  nineteenth-century  idealism,  with  a 
militaristic  emphasis.  (Cf.  Mensch  und  Erdc,  by  Dietrich 
Klages.) 

Hitler's  views,  re-emphasized  in  his  Munich  art  lecture  of 
1937,  crystallize  in  the  teaching  that  there  is  only  one  art  — 
German-Nordic  art.  All  attempts  to  sunder  painting,  for 
example,  into  various  schools  are  mistaken.  The  most  impor- 
tant exponent  of  these  views  is  Professor  Paul  Schultze- 
Naumburg,  who  achieved  fame  when  he  was  appointed  director 


354  MEIN  KAMPF 

'experiences'  would  have  seemed  simply  impossible,  and 
the  sponsors  would  have  been  sent  to  the  madhouse,  while 
today  they  even  preside  in  'artists'  unions.'  This  plague 
could  not  have  appeared  at  that  time,  because  neither 
would  public  opinion  have  suffered  it  nor  would  the  State 
have  looked  on  quietly.  For  it  is  an  affair  of  the  State  — 
that  means  of  the  government  —  to  prevent  a  people  from 
being  driven  into  the  arms  of  spiritual  lunacy.  For  in 
lunacy  such  a  development  would  end  one  day.  For  on 
the  day  that  this  kind  of  art  were  actually  to  correspond 
to  the  general  conception,  one  of  the  most  severe  changes 
of  mankind  would  have  begun ;  the  backward  development 
of  the  human  brain  would  have  begun  with  this,  but  one 
would  hardly  be  able  to  conceive  the  end. 

As  soon,  however,  as  from  this  point  of  view  one  lets 
pass  before  one's  eyes  the  development  of  our  cultural  life 

of  the  Weimar  Art  School  after  the  Nazi  triumph  of  1930. 
He  immediately  caused  to  be  removed  from  the  Weimar 
Museum  all  examples  of  expressionistic  art,  on  the  ground  that 
this  was  an  expression  of  a  mankind  subnormal  from  the  racial 
point  of  view.  Later  on  he  delivered  what  was  then  considered 
a  startling  address,  claiming  that  race  dictated  one's  response 
to  art,  and  that  anyone  who  found  esthetic  pleasure  in  expres- 
sionism was  not  a  German.  Schultze-Naumburg  contends 
that  an  artist  cannot  help  reproducing  'the  most  signal  racial 
characteristics  of  his  own  figure.'  Therefore  distortions,  as 
practiced  by  the  modernists,  imply  that  the  painter  or  sculptor 
is  himself  deformed  in  a  racial  sense.  Many  Nazis  have  ac- 
cepted these  teachings  with  a  wry  grimace,  pointing  out  that 
on  such  a  basis  the  museums  ought  also  to  be  cleansed  of 
primitive,  Egyptian,  Byzantine,  and  even  Italian  art.  On  the 
subject  of  music,  Hitler  has  been  equally  categorical:  To  me 
a  single  German  military  march  is  worth  more  than  all  the 
junk  of  these  new  musicians  —  these  people  belong  in  a 
sanatorium.* 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  355 

in  the  past  twenty-five  years,  one  will  be  shocked  at  seeing 
how  far  we  already  are  on  the  way  to  this  backward  devel- 
opment. Everywhere  we  meet  germs  that  represent  the 
beginning  of  excrescences  by  which  our  culture  is  bound  to 
perish  sooner  or  later.  Also,  we  are  able  to  recognize  in 
them  the  symptoms  of  decay  of  a  slowly  rotting  world. 
Woe  to  the  nations  which  are  no  longer  able  to  master 
this  disease ! 

One  was  able  to  find  such  diseases  in  almost  all  domains 
of  art  and  general  culture  in  Germany.  Here  everything 
seemed  to  have  already  passed  the  climax  and  to  hurry 
towards  the  abyss.  The  theater  sank  visibly  deeper  and  it 
would  probably  have  retired  completely  as  a  cultural  factor 
even  then,  had  not  at  least  the  Court  Theaters  turned 
against  this  prostitution  of  art.  If  one  leaves  these  and  a 
few  praiseworthy  exceptions  out  of  account,  the  perform- 
ances of  the  stage  were  such  that  for  the  sake  of  the  nation 
it  would  have  been  more  useful  to  avoid  visiting  them  en- 
tirely.^- It  was  a  sorrowful  sign  of  inner  decay  that  one  no 
longer  might  send  the  young  people  to  most  of  these  so- 
called  'abodes  of  art,'  which  was  openly  and  shamelessly 
admitted  with  the  general  warning  of  the  penny  arcades 
1  Children  are  not  admitted ! ' 

One  should  consider  that  one  had  to  take  such  precau- 
tions in  those  places  which  primarily  should  exist  for  the 
education  of  youth  and  not  for  the  amusement  of  old  blast 
generations.  What  would  the  great  dramatists  of  all  times 
have  said  to  such  a  rule  and  what,  above  all,  about  the  cir- 
cumstances which  gave  the  causes  for  them?  How  would 
perhaps  a  Schiller  have  flared  up  and  a  Goethe  have  turned 
away  in  indignation! 

However,  what  are  Schiller,  Goethe,  or  Shakespeare  as 
compared  with  the  'heroes'  of  the  new  German  dramatic 
art?  Old,  worn-out,  and  outlived,  nay,  'conquered'  types. 
For  this  was  the  characteristic  of  this  time:  not  that  it 


356  MEIN  KAMPF 

itself  produced  only  dirt;  what  is  more,  it  sullied  everything 
that  was  really  great  in  the  past.  This  is,  however,  a 
symptom  which  one  can  see  always  at  such  times.  The 
more  villainous  and  wretched  are  the  products  of  a  time 
and  its  people,  the  more  one  hates  the  witnesses  of  a  former 
greater  time  and  dignity.  But  most  of  all  in  such  times 
one  would  like  to  eliminate  altogether  the  memory  of  the 
past  of  mankind,  in  order  to  disguise  thus,  by  the  exclusion 
of  every  possibility  of  comparison,  one's  own  trash  as 
'art.'  For  this  reason,  the  more  wretched  and  miserable 
any  new  institution  is,  the  more  will  it  endeavor  to  extin- 
guish even  the  last  traces  of  past  times,  whereas  any  really 
valuable  renovation  of  mankind  can  also  continue,  with 
an  easy  mind,  the  good  achievements  of  past  generations, 
even  often  now  tries  to  make  them  stand  out.  Then  it  has 
no  fear  to  fade  perhaps  as  compared  with  the  past,  but 
for  its  own  part  it  makes  such  a  valuable  contribution  to 
the  general  treasure  of  human  culture  that  often,  for  the 
very  evaluation  of  the  latter,  it  wishes  to  keep  awake  the 
memory  of  the  former  achievements  in  order  to  secure  thus 
all  the  more  the  full  understanding  of  the  present  for  the 
new  donation.  Only  he  who  is  not  able  to  give  anything 
valuable  out  of  himself  to  the  world,  but  tries  to  act  as 
though  he  wants  to  give  it  God  knows  what,  will  hate 


Yet  oddly  enough  it  is  precisely  Goethe  who,  by  reason  of 
his  bourgeois  background,  is  today  characteristic  of  the  'civi- 
lization' which  the  Nazi  Revolution  discountenances.  Some- 
times he  has  been  hated  because  foreigners  relish  his  poetry; 
sometimes  he  has  been  tossed  aside  scornfully  as  the  'man 
without  a  musket.'  The  first  generation  of  Nazi  philosophers  — 
Rosenberg,  Klages  —  still  numbered  him  among  the  nation's 
great.  The  second  generation  no  longer  reads  him.  Hauer's 
attempt  to  make  him  the  'prophet  of  the  new  German  religion" 
has  failed. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  357 

everything  that  has  already  been  given  and  would  most 
of  all  like  to  deny  it  or  even  to  destroy  it. 
t  This  may  be  said  not  only  for  'novelties'  in  the  domain 
of  general  culture,  but  also  for  those  of  politics.  Revolu- 
tionary new  movements,  the  more  inferior  they  themselves 
are,  the  more  will  they  hate  the  old  form.  Also  here  one 
can  see  how  the  striving  to  make  one's  own  trash  appear 
as  something  leads  to  blind  hatred  towards  the  superior 
good  of  the  past.  As  long  as,  for  example,  the  historical 
memory  of  a  Frederick  the  Great  has  not  died,  a  Friedrich 
Ebert  is  only  able  to  create  moderate  astonishment.  The 
hero  of  Sans  Souci  is  to  the  former  barkeeper  of  Bremen 
approximately  like  the  sun  is  to  the  moon.  Only  when  the 
rays  of  the  sun  are  gone  is  the  moon  able  to  shine.  There- 
fore, the  hatred  of  all  new  moons  of  humanity  towards 
their  fixed  stars  is  only  too  understandable.  In  political 
life  such  naughts  usually,  if  Fate  throws  the  reign  tempo- 
rarily into  their  laps,  not  only  soil  and  stain  the  past  with 
untiring  zeal,  but  they  also  withdraw  themselves,  by  ex- 
treme measures,  from  general  criticism.  As  an  example  for 
this  the  protective  legislation  of  the  Republic  may  be 
considered. 

If,  therefore,  any  new  idea,  a  new  doctrine,  a  view  of  life 
or  also  a  political  as  well  as  an  economic  movement  tries  to 
deny  the  entire  past,  or  wants  to  deride  it  and  to  make  it 
valueless,  for  this  reason  alone  one  has  to  be  extremely 
cautious  and  mistrusting.  In  most  cases  the  reason  for 

This  attack  on  Ebert,  first  President  of  the  Republic,  is 
entirely  in  the  spirit  of  the  conservative  opposition,  which 
forgot  that  Ludendorff  had  said  hopefully,  'Ebert  will  manage.' 
The  laws  referred  to  were  passed  after  the  murder  of  Rathenau 
to  protect  the  government  and  its  officials  against  arbitrary 
attacks  from  Rightist  organizations.  Spengler  inveighs  against 
them  in  much  the  same  way. 


358  MEIN  KAMPF 

such  hatred  is  either  one's  own  inferiority  or  even  an  evil 
intention  in  itself.  A  genuinely  blissful  renovation  of  man- 
kind would  always  and  forever  have  to  continue  to  build 
in  that  place  where  the  last  foundation  ends.  It  will  not 
have  to  be  ashamed  of  using  existing  truths.  The  entire 
human  culture,  as  well  as  man  himself,  is  only  the  result  of 
one  long  single  development,  during  which  every  genera- 
tion added  to,  and  built  in,  its  building  stones.  The  mean- 
ing and  the  aim  of  revolutions  is  not  to  wreck  the  entire 
building,  but  rather  to  take  away  unsuitable  stuff  which 
has  been  badly  fitted  in  and  to  continue  to  build  on  and 
add  to  the  healthy  spot  that  has  been  made  free. 

Thus  alone  will  one  be  able  and  allowed  to  speak  of  a 
progress  of  mankind.  In  the  other  case  the  world  is  never 
redeemed  from  chaos,  as  the  right  of  rejection  of  the  past 
would  fall  to  every  generation,  and  with  this  every  genera- 
tion would  be  allowed,  as  the  presupposition  for  its  own 
work,  to  destroy  the  works  of  the  past. 

The  saddening  fact  of  the  deterioration  of  our  culture 
of  the  pre-War  time  lay,  however,  not  only  in  the  complete 
impotency  of  the  artistic  and  generally  cultural  creative 
force,  but  rather  in  the  hatred  with  which  the  memory  of 
the  greater  past  was  soiled  and  extinguished.  In  nearly 
all  domains  of  art,  and  especially  of  the  theater  and  of 
literature,  one  began  to  produce  less  important  novelties  at 
the  turn  of  the  century,  in  order,  however,  to  deride  instead 
the  best  old  creations  and  to  present  them  as  inferior  and 
conquered,  as  though  this  period  of  the  most  shameful 
inferiority  would  be  at  all  able  to  'conquer'  anything.  Out 
of  this  striving  to  remove  the  past  out  of  the  sight  of  the 
present,  the  evil  intention  of  these  'apostles'  of  the  future 
could  clearly  and  distinctly  be  seen.  From  this  one  should 
have  recognized  that  one  had  to  deal,  not  with  certain  cul- 
tural intentions,  even  though  they  were  wrong,  but  with 
a  process  of  destruction  of  the  basis  of  culture  as  a  whole, 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  359 

and  with  a  ridiculing  of  sound  art  appreciation,  made 
possible  by  this  —  and  with  the  intellectual  preparation 
for  political  bolshevism.  For  if  the  time  of  Pericles  appears 
incorporated  in  the  Parthenon,  so  does  the  bolshevistic 
present  in  a  cubistic  grimace. 

In  this  connection  one  has  also  to  point  to  the  cowardice 
which  again  becomes  visible  through  this  —  of  part  of  our 
people  which  by  virtue  of  its  education  and  its  position 
should  have  been  obliged  to  make  front  against  this  cul- 
tural disgrace.  Out  of  pure  fear  of  the  clamor  of  these 
bolshevistic  art  apostles  who  most  violently  attacked  and 
nailed  down  as  an  old-fashioned  philistine  everyone  who 
did  not  want  to  recognize  in  them  the  crown  of  creation, 
one  renounced  any  serious  resistance  and  gave  in  to  what 
seemed  inevitable  after  all.  One  was  seized  with  genuine 
fear  of  being  denounced  for  lack  of  understanding  by  these 
half-wits  or  scoundrels;  as  though  it  were  a^disgrace  not  to 
understand  the  products  of  intellectual  degenerates  or 
cunning  deceivers.  These  disciples  of  culture,  however, 

The  hatred  of  expressionism  —  which  had  its  roots  in 
Nietzsche  —  is  bound  up  in  Hitler's  mind  with  admiration  foi 
Wagner's  writings  on  art.  The  composer  of  Gotierddmmerung 
was  a  great  musician,  but  he  was  in  some  ways  a  philistine; 
and  it  was  against  that  philistinism  that  Nietzsche  protested 
bitterly.  Speaking  in  Dresden  in  1848,  Wagner  said:  'What  is 
the  German  thing?  It  is,  it  must  be,  the  right  thing!'  In  the 
apotheosis  of  Germanism  which  Wagner  represents,  Chamber- 
lain found  a  living  justification  of  his  theories.  And  through 
Chamberlain  (whom  he  once  met  in  Bayreuth,  and  from  whom 
he  received  an  emphatic  endorsement)  Hitler  has  learned  how 
to  expound  Wagner.  In  a  Wagnerian  universe,  there  is  room 
for  expressionism  ( which  the  war  experience  greatly  furthered) 
because  there  is  no  nakedness  of  soul  in  Wagnerianism.  There 
is  only  soulfulness  —  a  great  quality,  but  one  tinged  constantly 
in  the  damp  that  rises  from  the  waters  of  banality. 


360  MEIN  KAMPF 

had  a  very  simple  means  to  stamp  their  nonsense  into 
God  knows  how  enormous  an  affair  by  presenting  to  the 
astonished  world  as  so-called  'inner  experience*  any  unin- 
telligible and  visibly  crazy  stuff,  taking  in  this  cheap  man- 
ner the  word  of  reply  from  the  mouths  of  most  people  at 
the  start.  For  there  was  no  reason  to  doubt  that  this  also 
could  be  an  inner  experience,  but  one  could  doubt  whether 
it  was  permissible  to  put  before  the  same  world  the  hal- 
lucinations of  insane  people  or  criminals.  The  works  of  a 
Moritz  von  Schwind  or  of  a  Boecklin  were  also  an  'inner 
experience'  at  that,  of  artists  endowed  with  the  grace  of 
God,  and  not  of  fools. 

But  here  one  could  so  well  study  the  miserable  cowardice 
of  our  so-called  '  intelligentsia '  which  shuns  every  serious 
resistance  against  this  poisoning  of  the  sound  instinct  of 
our  people  and  left  it  to  the  people  itself  to  be  content  with 
this  impudent  nonsense.  In  order  not  to  be  considered 
lacking  in  art  understanding,  one  took  then  every  derision 
of  art  into  the  bargain  in  order  to  become  finally  actually 
uncertain  in  the  judgment  of  good  or  bad. 

Taken  all  in  all,  these  were  signs  of  a  world  getting  worse 
and  worse. 


As  a  doubtful  symptom  the  following  has  to  be  stated  : 
During  the  nineteenth  century  our  cities  began  to  lose 
more  and  more  the  character  of  'culture  places'  in  order  to 
sink  to  mere  'human  settlements.'  The  weak  connection 
which  our  present-day  proletariat  of  our  big  cities  has 
with  its  dwelling-place  is  just  the  consequence  of  the  fact 
that  here  really  only  the  accidental  local  place  of  residence 
of  the  individual  is  involved  and  nothing  else.  This  is 
partly  connected  with  the  frequent  change  of  residence, 
caused  by  the  social  conditions,  which  does  not  grant 
sufficient  time  to  man  for  closer  connection  with  his  city, 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  361 

and  partly  the  cause  of  this  must  be  sought  also  in  the 
general  cultural  unimportance  and  poverty  of  our  present 
cities  themselves. 

Still  at  the  time  of  the  Wars  of  Liberation,  the  German 
cities  were  not  only  few  in  number  but  also  modest  in  size. 
The  few  really  big  cities  were  for  the  greatest  part  Court 
cities,  and  as  such  they  possessed  nearly  always  a  certain 
cultural  value  and  mostly  also  a  certain  artistic  picture. 
The  few  places  of  more  than  fifty  thousand  inhabitants 
were,  as  compared  with  cities  of  the  same  population  today, 
rich  in  scientific  and  artistic  treasures.  When  Munich 
counted  sixty  thousand  souls,  it  began  to  become  one  of 
the  first  German  art  centers ;  today  nearly  every  manufac- 
turing place  has  reached,  if  not  even  exceeded,  this  figure 
many  times,  without,  however,  sometimes  being  able  to 
call  its  own  even  the  most  humble  of  genuine  values.  Pure 
collections  of  flats  and  dwelling-houses,  nothing  more. 
How,  with  such  lack  of  importance,  a  special  attachment  to 
these  places  can  originate  must  be  a  riddle.  Nobody  will 
be  specially  attached  to  a  city  which  has  nothing  else  to 
offer  than  what  any  other  city  has;  one  which  lacks  any 
individual  touch  and  where  everything  is  carefully  avoided 
that  could  even  look  like  art  or  something  similar. 

But,  as  if  this  were  not  enough,  the  really  big  cities  also 
become  poorer  and  poorer  in  works  of  art,  in  proportion 
with  the  rising  increase  in  the  number  of  population.  They 
appear  more  and  more  polished  off  and  they  present  ex- 
actly the  same  picture,  though  on  a  larger  scale,  as  the 
small  and  miserable  factory  towns.  What  modern  times 
added  to  the  cultural  contents  of  our  big  cities  was  com- 
pletely insufficient.  All  our  cities  feast  on  the  glory 
and  the  treasures  of  the  past.  It  takes  from  the  Munich 
of  today  everything  that  was  created  under  the  reign  of 
Ludwig  I ;  one  will  be  shocked  at  seeing  how  poor  the  addi- 
tion of  important  artistic  creations  since  that  time  is.  The 


368  MEIN  KAMPF 

same  applies  to  Berlin  and  to  most  of  the  other  big  cities. 

The  essential  thing,  however,  is  nevertheless  the  follow- 
ing: our  present  big  cities  have  no  monuments,  dominating 
the  entire  picture  of  the  city,  which  could  somehow  be 
called  the  symbol  of  the  time.  But  this  was  the  case  in  the 
cities  of  old,  since  nearly  all  of  them  had  a  special  monument 
of  its  pride.  The  characteristic  of  the  antique  city  was  not 
found  in  the  private  buildings,  but  in  the  monuments  of 
the  community  which  seemed  destined  not  for  the  moment 
but  for  eternity,  for  they  were  supposed  to  reflect  not  the 
riches  of  the  individual  owner  but  rather  the  greatness 
and  the  importance  of  the  community.  Thus  monuments 
originated  which  were  suited  to  attach  the  individual  in- 
habitant to  his  city  in  a  manner  which  today  seems  to  us 
sometimes  almost  incomprehensible.  For  what  he  had 
before  his  eyes  were  not  the  miserable  houses  of  private 
owners  but  the  magnificent  buildings  of  the  whole  commun- 
ity. Compared  with  them  the  living  house  was  actually 
reduced  to  an  insignificant  object  of  secondary  importance. 

For,  only  when  comparing  the  dimensions  of  the  antique 
State  buildings  with  the  contemporary  private  houses  will 
one  understand  the  overpowering  sweep  and  force  of  this 
stress  on  the  viewpoint  to  allot  the  first  place  to  the  public 
works.  What  today  we  admire  in  the  wreckage  and  fields 
of  ruins  of  the  old  world  as  the  few  still  outstanding  colos- 
Buses  are  not  business  palaces  of  the  time  but  temples  and 
State  buildings;  that  means  works  the  owner  of  which  was 
the  public.  Even  in  the  splendor  of  the  later  Rome,  first 
place  was  not  taken  by  the  villas  and  the  palaces  of  indi- 
vidual citizens,  but  by  the  temples  and  the  thermae,  the 

All  this  has  now  been  changed.  Munich  has  its  Kunsthalle, 
Berlin  its  new  Chancellery  and  Olympic  Village.  Millions 
have  been  spent  on  such  buildings,  and  unlimited  millions 
mav  still  be  poured  out. 


i 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE          363 

staia,  circuses,  aqueducts,  basilicas,  etc.,  of  the  State; 
that  means  of  the  entire  people/* 

Even  the  Germanic  Middle  Ages  maintained  this  point 
of  view,  though  also  under  quite  different  conceptions  of 
art  as  the  leading  principle.  That  which  in  antiquity  found 
its  expression  in  the  Acropolis  or  in  the  Pantheon,  now  clad 
itself  in  the  forms  of  the  Gothic  cathedrals.  Like  giants 
they  stood  out  over  the  swarm  of  small  frameworks,  wooden 
or  brick  buildings  of  the  medieval  town,  and  thus  they 
became  symbols  which  today  still  define  the  character  and 
the  picture  of  these  places,  while  at  their  sides  the  tene- 
ment-house blocks  climb  higher  and  higher.  Cathedrals, 
town  halls,  and  grain  markets,  as  well  as  watch-towers,  are 
the  visible  sign  of  a  conception  which  ultimately  cor- 
responded to  that  of  antiquity. 

But  how  truly  miserable  the  relation  between  State  and 
private  buildings  has  become  today.  If  Berlin  were  to  meet 
the  fate  of  Rome,  then  the  coming  generations  could  one 
day  admire  the  department  stores  of  some  Jews,  and  the 
hotels  of  some  corporations  the  most  imposing  works  of 
our  time,  as  the  characteristic  expression  of  the  culture  of 
our  days.  Compare,  therefore,  the  unfavorable  disparity 
that  prevails,  even  in  a  city  like  Berlin,  between  the  build- 
ings of  the  Reich  and  those  of  finance  and  commerce. 

Even  the  amount  of  money  allotted  to  the  State  buildings 
is  in  most  cases  truly  ridiculous  and  insufficient.  No  works 
are  created  for  eternity,  but  at  the  most  those  for  the 
momentary  need.  No  higher  idea  is  at  all  predominant  in 
this.  The  Schloss  of  Berlin  was  at  the  time  it  was  built 
quite  a  different  work  from  perhaps  the  new  Library  in 
the  frame  of  the  present.  While  one  single  battleship  repre- 
sented a  value  of  around  sixty  millions,  hardly  half  of  this 
amount  was  granted  for  the  first  magnificent  building  of 
the  Reich,  which  was  intended  for  eternity,  the  Reichstag 
Building.  Indeed,  when  the  question  of  the  interior  deco- 


364  MEIN  KAMPF 

ration  was  decided  upon,  the  'high'  House  voted  against 
the  use  of  stone,  it  ordered  the  walls  trimmed  with  plaster; 
and  this  time  the  'parliamentarians'  had  acted  correctly 
for  once:  plaster  heads  do  not  belong  between  walls  of  stone. 

Thus  our  cities  of  the  present  lack  the  outstanding  symbol 
of  national  community,  and  hence  it  is  no  wonder  that 
the  community  does  not  see  any  symbol  of  itself  in  its 
cities.  This  must  lead  to  a  spiritual  dullness  which  mani- 
fests itself  in  practice  in  a  wholesale  indifference  of  the 
present-day  city  dweller  towards  the  lot  of  his  city. 

This  also  is  a  sign  of  our  declining  culture  and  of  our 
general  collapse.  The  time  is  suffocated  in  petty  expedi- 
ency, in  other  words,  in  the  service  of  money.  Thus  one 
must  not  be  surprised  if  under  such  a  deity  little  under- 
standing for  heroism  remains.  The  present  only  harvests 
that  which  the  immediate  past  has  sown. 


All  these  symptoms  of  decay  are  ultimately  only  conse- 
quences of  the  lack  of  a  certain,  commonly  acknowledged 
view  of  life  and  of  the  general  uncertainty  in  the  judgment, 
and  the  definition  of  an  attitude  towards  the  various 
great  questions  of  the  time,  resulting  from  it.  Therefore, 
everything,  beginning  with  education,  is  half-hearted  and 
wavering,  shuns  responsibility  and  ends  thus  in  cowardly 
tolerance  of  even  recognized  evils.  Dreamy  humaneness 
becomes  the  fashion,  and  by  a  weak  surrender  to  the  ex- 
crescences and  in  sparing  the  individuals,  one  sacrifices  in 
turn  the  future  of  millions.-* 

How  much  the  general  destruction  spread  is  also  appar- 
ent when  looking  at  the  religious  conditions  before  the 
War.  Here  too,  uniform  and  effective  convictions,  through 
a  view  of  life,  had  long  been  lost  in  great  parts  of  the  nation. 
In  this  the  adherents,  freeing  themselves  officially  from 
the  Church,  play  a  less  important  r61e  than  those  who  are 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  365 

indifferent  as  a  whole.  While  both  denominations  keep  up 
missions  in  Asia  and  Africa,  in  order  to  lead  new  followers 
to  the  doctrine  (an  activity,  which,  compared  with  the 
advance  of  the  Mohammedan  faith,  can  show  only  very 
modest  successes),  in  Europe  proper  they  lose  millions  and 
again  millions  of  adherents  of  inner  homogeneousness,  who 
now  face  religious  life  either  as  strangers  or  at  least  walk 
ways  of  their  own.  The  consequences,  especially  as  regards 
morality,  are  unfavorable  ones. 

Remarkable  is  also  the  more  and  more  violent  fight 
begun  against  the  dogmatic  fundamentals  of  the  various 
churches,  without  which,  however,  the  practical  existence 
of  a  religious  faith  is  unthinkable  in  this  world  of  man. 
The  great  masses  of  a  people  do  not  consist  of  philosophers, 
and  it  is  just  for  them  that  faith  is  frequently  the  sole  basis 
of  a  moral  view  of  life.  The  various  substitutes  have  not 
proved  so  useful  in  their  success  that  one  would  be  able  to 
see  in  them  a  useful  exchange  for  the  former  religious 
creeds.  But  if  religious  doctrine  and  faith  are  really  meant 
to  seize  the  great  masses,  then  the  absolute  authority  of 
the  contents  of  this  faith  is  the  basis  of  all  effectiveness. 
What,  then,  the  customary  style  of  living  is  for  general 

This  is  the  reverse  of  'religion  is  the  opium  of  the  people.1 
Rauschning  (cf .  his  Revolution  des  Nihilismus)  has  pointed  out 
Hitler's  deep  respect  for  the  Catholic  Church  and  in  particular 
for  the  Society  of  Jesus.  In  this  he  resembles  Auguste  Comte, 
who  once  proposed  a  liaison  between  Positivism  and  Rome. 
Both  sundered  their  admiration  from  any  kind  of  belief. 
Hitler  praises  the  ability  (as  he  sees  it)  of  the  Church  to  keep 
on  resolutely  proclaiming  an  article  of  faith,  however  powerful 
the  arguments  arrayed  against  it  may  be.  If  the  nation  can 
build  dogmas  about  its  new  'myth'  and  propagate  them  aa 
stubbornly,  it  may  (so  it  is  thought)  give  Germany  a  new  faith, 
which  the  masses  will  cherish  as  tenaciously  as  they  have  until 
latterly  cherished  Christianity. 


366  MEIN  KAMPF 

life,  without  which  certainly  hundreds  of  thousands  ol 
well-bred  people  would  live  sensibly  and  wisely,  but  mil- 
lions of  others  certainly  would  not,  the  organic  laws  are 
for  the  State  and  dogma  is  for  religion.  Only  by  this  is  the 
wavering  and  infinitely  interpretable,  purely  spiritual  idea 
definitely  limited  and  brought  into  a  shape,  without  which 
it  could  never  become  faith.  In  the  other  case,  the  idea 
would  never  grow  beyond  a  metaphysical  conception,  in 
short,  beyond  a  philosophical  opinion.  The  attack  upon 
the  dogma  in  itself  resembles,  therefore,  very  strongly  also 
the  fight  against  the  general  legal  fundamentals  of  the 
State,  and,  just  as  the  latter  would  find  its  end  in  a  com- 
plete anarchy  of  the  State,  thus  the  other  in  a  worthless 
religious  nihilism. 

But  for  the  politician  the  estimation  of  the  value  of  a 
religion  must  be  decided  less  by  the  deficiencies  which  it 
perhaps  shows  than  by  the  presence  of  a  visibly  better 
substitute.  As  long  as  there  is  no  apparent  substitute,  that 
which  is  present  can  be  demolished  only  by  fools  or  by 
criminals. 

Of  course,  not  the  smallest  share  of  the  guilt  of  the 
unenjoyable  religious  conditions  lies  with  those  who  burden 
the  religious  conception  too  much  with  worldly  things, 


An  attack  on  the  Center  Party,  the  official  spokesmen  for 
which  were  often  priests  and  prelates.  The  fact  that  a  Catholic 
Party  entered  into  a  coalition  with  Social  Democracy  in  the 
Reich  and  in  several  States  was  described  as  a  'betrayal*  of 
Christian  principles  not  only  by  Right  radicals  with  axes  to 
grind,  but  also  by  a  number  of  wealthy  and  conservative 
Catholics.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  that  collaboration  not  only  had 
the  sanction  of  the  highest  ecclesiastical  authorities  in  the  land 
but  was  unimpeachable  on  any  basis.  The  'liberalism'  of  the 
'political  Catholics'  was  a  favorite  shibboleth  among  Jew 
baiters. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  367 

thus  bringing  it  frequently  into  a  quite  unnecessary  con- 
flict with  so-called  exact  science.  Here  the  victory  will, 
though  after  a  serious  struggle,  nearly  always  fall  to  the 
latter,  but  religion  will  suffer  serious  damage  in  the  eyes 
of  all  those  who  are  not  able  to  raise  themselves  above 
purely  outward  knowledge. 

But  worse  than  all  are  the  devastations  which  are  brought 
about  by  the  abuse  of  religious  convictions  for  political 
purposes.  One  can  really  not  proceed  too  sharply  against 
those  wretched  profiteers  who  like  to  see  in  religion  an 
instrument  which  may  render  them  political,  or  rather  com- 
mercial, services.  These  impudent  liars,  however,  shout 
their  creed  into  the  world  with  a  stentorian  voice  so  that 
the  other  sinners  can  surely  hear  it,  but  not  in  order  to  die 
for  it,  if  necessary,  but  in  order  to  live  better.  For  one 
single  political  job  they  offer  the  meaning  of  an  entire 
faith  for  sale;  for  ten  parliamentary  mandates  they  ally 
themselves  with  the  Marxist  mortal  enemies  of  all  reli- 
gion —  and  for  one  minister's  seat  they  would  certainly 
also  marry  the  Devil,  in  so  far  as  the  latter  would  not  be 
deterred  by  a  remnant  of  decency. 

If  in  pre-War  Germany  the  religious  life  had  for  many 
an  after-taste,  this  was  attributable  to  the  misuse  which 
was  inflicted  on  Christianity  on  the  part  of  a  so-called 
1  Christian '  party,  as  well  as  to  the  impudence  with  which 
one  tried  to  identify  the  Catholic  faith  with  a  political  party. 

This  substitution  was  a  fatality  which  perhaps  brought 
parliamentary  seats  to  a  number  of  good-for-nothings,  but 
injury  to  the  Church. 

The  result,  however,  had  to  be  borne  by  the  whole 
nation,  as  the  consequences  of  the  loosening  of  religious  life 
caused  by  this  occurred  just  in  a  time  when  everything 
began  to  give  way  and  to  change,  anyhow,  and  when  the 
traditional  fundamentals  of  behavior  and  moralitv  threat- 
ened to  collapse. 


368  MEIN  KAMPF 

This,  too,  represented  cracks  and  rifts  in  our  national 
body  which  might  well  be  harmless  as  long  as  no  special 
strain  occurred,  but  which  were  bound  to  cause  disaster 
whenever,  by  the  impetus  of  great  events,  the  question 
of  the  inner  solidarity  of  the  nation  became  of  decisive 
importance. 

* 

Also  in  the  field  of  politics,  when  looked  at  with  observant 
eyes,  there  were  evils  which  might  and  must  appear  as 
symptoms  of  a  coming  decay  of  the  Reich,  provided  no 
improvement  or  change  were  soon  brought  about.  The 
aimlessness  of  German  domestic  and  foreign  politics  was 
visible  to  anyone  who  did  not  deliberately  wish  to  be  blind. 
The  business  of  compromise  seemed  to  agree  most  of  all 
with  Bismarck's  opinion  that '  politics  is  the  art  of  the  pos- 
sible.' Now,  however,  there  was  just  a  slight  difference 
between  Bismarck  and  German  chancellors  who  followed, 
which  permitted  the  former  to  drop  such  a  remark  about 
the  nature  of  politics,  while  the  same  opinion  out  of  the 
mouths  of  his  successors  was  bound  to  assume  quite  a 
different  significance.  For  Bismarck  only  wished  to  express 
with  this  sentence  that,  in  order  to  reach  a  certain  political 
goal,  all  possibilities  may  be  applied,  or,  one  can  proceed 
according  to  all  possibilities;  but  his  successors  saw  in  this 
utterance  only  the  solemn  exemption  from  the  necessity  of 
having  political  thoughts  or  even  aims  at  all.  But  political 
aims  were  really  no  longer  present  at  that  time  for  the 
leading  authorities  of  the  Reich;  because  for  this  the  neces- 
sary foundation  of  a  view  of  life  and  the  necessary  clarity 
on  the  laws  of  inner  development  of  political  life  as  a  whole 
were  missing. 

There  were  not  a  few  to  whom  the  prospects  in  this 
direction  appeared  dim  and  who  castigated  the  planless- 
ness  and  thoughtlessness  of  the  policy  of  the  Reich,  and 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  369 

were,  accordingly,  very  well  aware  of  its  inner  weakness  and 
hollowness,  but  they  were  only  the  outsiders  of  political 
life;  the  official  authorities  of  the  government  passed  by 
the  observations  of  a  Houston  Stewart  Chamberlain  just 
as  indifferently  as  this  is  still  the  case  with  us  today.  These 
people  are  too  stupid  to  think  for  themselves,  and  too  vain 
to  learn  which  is  necessary  from  others.  Thus  one  sees 
incorporated  in  almost  every  councillor  of  the  ministry 
an  atom  of  that  eternal  truth  which  caused  Oxenstierna  to 
exclaim:  'The  world  is  ruled  only  by  a  fraction  of  wisdom.' 
(This  is  no  longer  the  case  since  Germany  has  become  a 
republic.  Therefore,  it  has  also  been  forbidden  by  the  law 
for  the  Protection  of  the  Republic  to  believe,  or  even  to 
discuss,  anything  like  that.  But  Oxenstierna  was  lucky  that 
he  lived  at  that  time  and  not  in  this  wise  republic  of  today.) 

As  early  as  in  pre-War  times,  that  institution  was  recog- 
nized in  which  the  strength  of  the  Reich  was  to  incorporate 
itself  as  the  greatest  weakness:  the  parliament,  the  Reich- 
stag. Here  cowardice  and  irresponsibility  presented  them- 
selves in  a  rarely  finished  type. 

It  is  one  of  the  greatest  thoughtless  observations  which 
one  may  hear  not  infrequently,  especially  in  these  days, 
that  in  Germany  parliamentarism  'has  failed  since  the 
Revolution.'  By  this  the  appearance  is  only  too  easily 
given  as  though  this  had  perhaps  not  been  the  case  before 
the  Revolution.  But  this  institution  can  in  reality  have  no 
other  effect  than  a  devastating  one  —  and  this  at  a  time 
when  most  people,  still  clad  with  blinders,  did  not  or  did 
not  want  to  see  anything.  For,  that  Germany  actually 
was  crushed  was  not  a  little  due  to  this  institution,  but  that 
the  catastrophe  had  not  occurred  before  cannot  be  con- 
sidered as  the  merit  of  the  Reichstag,  but  was  attributable 
to  the  resistance  which,  still  in  the  years  of  peace,  con- 
fronted the  activity  of  this  gravedigger  of  the  German 
nation  and  the  German  Reich. 


370  MEIN  KAMPF 

Out  of  the  vast  number  of  devastating  evils  which  came 
forth  from,  or  were  caused  by,  this  institution,  1  will  point 
only  to  a  single  one  which,  however,  exhibits  most  of  all  Ac 
inner  nature  of  this  most  irresponsible  institution  of  all 
times.  The  terrible  half  measures  and  weakness  of  the 
political  guidance  of  the  Reich  in  domestic  and  foreign 
affairs  was  due  primarily  to  the  working  of  the  Reichstag; 
it  became  one  of  the  chief  causes  of  the  political  collapse. 

Half  measure  was  everything  that  in  any  way  was  sub- 
ject to  the  influence  of  this  parliament,  no  matter  how  one 
looks  at  it. 

Half  measure  and  weak  was  the  Reich's  policy  of  alliances 
in  foreign  politics.  While  thus  one  wanted  to  preserve  peace, 
one  was  bound  to  drive  unresistingly  towards  war. 

Half  measure  was  furthermore  the  policy  towards  Poland. 


The  restraint  of  this  passage  is  noteworthy.  Prior  to  the 
War,  the  energetic  Germanizing  of  Poland  Was  fostered  by  such 
men  as  Dr.  Hugenberg,  afterward  leader  of  the  Nationalist 
Party  and  pivot  man  in  the  deal  which  put  Hitler  in  power. 
Disgusted  with  the  failure  of  the  pre-War  Prussian  government 
to  stamp  out  all  Polish  opposition,  Hugenberg  resigned  as  an 
official,  became  a  director  of  Krupp,  and  there  made  himself 
the  systematic  mole  who  ate  away  the  financial  underpinning 
of  large  portions  of  the  German  press  and  then  boasted  that  he 
could  make  Germany  read  whatever  he  wanted  it  to  read.  After 
the  War  he  took  up  the  same  work  anew.  Sums  gathered  from 
Chambers  of  Commerce,  etc.,  to  'fight  Bolshevism'  were 
diverted  into  the  purchases  of  daily  and  weekly  papers  until 
Hugenberg,  as  the  controlling  influence  in  the  Scherl-Verlag, 
had  under  his  thumb  a  multitude  of  German  metropolitan  and 
provincial  dailies.  He  also  acquired  UFA,  largest  German  film 
concern,  which  has  more  recently  become  the  property  of  the 
German  government. 

After  1922  —  when  the  Polish  uprisings,  intended  to  wrest 
from  Germany  more  territory  than  the  peace  treaties  had  taken 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  971 

One  irritated  without,  however,  ever  proceeding  seriously. 
The  result  was  neither  a  reconciliation  with  the  Poles  nor 
a  German  victory,  but  instead  enmity  with  Russia. 

Half  measure  was  the  solution  of  the  question  of  Alsace- 


from  her  were  in  full  swing  —  Germany  was  again  characterized 
by  a  resentment  of  Polish  activities  which  often  contrasted 
strangely  with  efforts  to  regulate  the  trade  and  minority 
problems.  The  Corridor,  a  strip  of  territory  separating  East 
Prussia  from  the  main  portion  of  the  Reich  and  leading  to  the 
new  harbor  city  of  Gdynia,  was  considered  a  major  political 
problem,  and  the  fate  of  Danzig  was  kept  dangling  before  the 
consciousness  of  the  League  of  Nations.  But  when  Hitler  came 
to  power,  an  attempt  was  made  to  counter  Polish  opposition  by 
establishing  friendly  relations  with  that  country.  It  was  pointed 
out  that  after  all  both  countries  enjoyed  the  blessings  of 
dictatorship.  Many  predicted  that  the  Poles  and  the  Germans 
would  march  arm  in  arm  to  the  conquest  of  Russia. 

The  Poles,  however,  were  playing  a  difficult  and  crafty 
game.  For  a  time  they  appeared  to  have  rather  the  better  of  it. 
They  kept  a  protecting  hand  over  the  Polish  minority  in 
Danzig,  and  at  the  same  time  did  not  relax  the  pressure  that  was 
brought  to  bear  on  German  minority  groups  in  Poland.  It  was 
the  annexation  of  Austria  that  first  tipped  the  scales  in  Hitler's 
favor.  Almost  immediately  there  appeared  in  various  parts  of 
the  diplomatic  world  a  '  memorandum '  purporting  to  be  a  plan 
for  a  'Catholic  group*  of  States  in  Central  Europe,  running 
from  Italy  through  Croatia  and  Hungary  to  Slovakia  and 
Poland.  When  the  Czechoslovakian  crisis  was  settled  by  giving 
Hitler  what  he  wanted,  the  Poles  acted  quickly,  but  were  unable 
to  secure  what,  perhaps,  they  most  needed  —  a  clear  route  tc 
the  South.  They  did  acquire  the  Teschen  region,  which  is 
doubtless  the  richest  morsel  taken  from  the  State  once  so  hope- 
fully created  by  Masaryk  and  Wilson.  But  the  inability  of 
Slovakia  and  Hungary  to  reach  a  modus  vivendi  blocked  any 
further  progress.  Most  of  the  inhabitants  ceded  to  Hungary 
changed  their  allegiance  most  unwillingly;  and  on  both  sides 


372  MEIN  KAMPF 

Lorraine.  Instead  of  smashing  with  brutal  fists  once  and 
for  all  times  the  head  of  the  French  hydra,  or  granting 
equal  rights  to  the  Alsatian,  one  did  neither.  (One  was  not 
even  able  to  do  so,  because  in  the  ranks  of  the  greatest 

of  the  new  boundaries  the  strange  phenomenon  of  a  National 
Socialism  making  great  headway  among  the  peasants  —  though 
they  were  Slavs  or  Maygars  —  completely  changed  the  situa- 
tion. The  swastika  became  a  popular  symbol.  To  some  extent 
this  was  due  to  propaganda,  but  a  more  important  factor  was 
the  feeling  that  under  Hitler  agriculture  would  be  more  prosper- 
ous, Jewry  at  a  disadvantage,  and  all  Leftist  theories  of  social 
improvement  for  the  masses  abrogated. 

Poland  tried  very  hard  to  effect  the  separation  of  Ruthenia 
from  Czechoslovakia.  So  far  it  has  failed.  Far  more  significant, 
however,  is  the  fact  that  the  collapse  of  Prague  as  a  center  of 
military  strength  has  radically  altered  the  position  of  Poland. 
Its  major  natural  resources  and  its  armament  manufactories 
are  in  the  West,  within  range  of  German  heavy  artillery. 
Therefore  its  very  good  army  (many  rank  its  infantry  with  the 
best  in  Europe)  was  left  dangling  by  a  thread,  and  it  had 
perforce  to  seek  safety  by  trying  to  improve  relations  with 
Russia.  The  implications  of  the  Ukrainian  question  have 
already  been  discussed,  but  one  may  add  in  addition  that 
German  control  of  Czechoslovakia  can  make  this  a  haven  for 
Ukrainian  separatist  agitators. 

Therefore  Poland  is  imperiled.  It  is  difficult  to  see  why 
Warsaw  could  desire  the  dismemberment  of  the  State  on  its 
southern  boundaries,  even  if  Teschen  was  a  rich  and  long- 
coveted  prize.  Yet  it  could  hardly  be  to  Germany's  advantage 
to  threaten  Poland  with  war.  The  cost  of  such  a  struggle, 
in  treasure  and  possibly  also  in  prestige,  would  not  compensate 
for  the  possible  gains,  among  which  reacquisition  of  the  Silesian 
coal  and  ore  fields  may  be  listed. 

After  the  War  of  1870,  Alsace-Lorraine  was  incorporated 
in  the  new  German  Empire;  it  eventually  became  an  Imperial 
domain.  The  Alsatians  did  not  conceal  their  desire  for  au- 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  373 

parties  there  sat  also  the  greatest  traitors  to  the  country. 
In  the  Center  Party,  for  instance,  Herr  Wetterl6.) 

But  all  this  would  still  have  been  bearable  if  that  power 
had  not  also  fallen  victim  to  the  general  half  measures, 
that  power  on  the  existence  of  which  finally  the  existence 
of  the  Reich  depended :  the  army. 

The  way  in  which  the  so-called  'German  Reichstag'  had 
sinned  here  is  enough  alone  to  burden  it  for  all  times  with 
the  curse  of  the  German  nation.  For  the  most  wretched 

tonomy,  which  in  many  cases  was  more  strictly  a  wish  to 
return  to  France.  Bismarck  wisely  refused  to  exert  untoward 
pressure,  believing  that  after  a  few  generations  the  feeling 
would  die  out  of  its  own  accord.  Nevertheless,  he  permitted 
himself  to  be  involved  in  the  Kulturkampf,  and  therewith 
also  in  ambitious  programs  for  Protestantizing  Catholic  Alsace. 
The  University  of  Strassburg  was  the  symbol  of  the  'cultural 
reconstruction*  sponsored  by  Prussia.  Naturally  the  clergy 
now  led  the  opposition,  having  in  Abb6  Haegy  a  highly  gifted 
leader.  When  the  Kulturkampf  was  over,  the  Center  Party 
took  up  the  task  of  cementing  relationships  between  Alsace  and 
the  Reich.  It  was  sometimes  sabotaged  by  the  Prussian  bu- 
reaucracy and  the  army  (witness  theZabern  incident  of  1913), 
but  was  none  the  less  so  effective  on  the  whole  that  the  vast 
majority  of  Alsatians  fought  loyally  for  Germany  during  the  War 
and  afterward  became  autonomists  as  a  result  of  their  opposi- 
tion to  the  annexation  by  France  decreed  by  the  Treaty  of 
Versailles.  Hitlerism  abruptly  broke  off  this  development, 
although  as  a  result  of  the  Blum  policies  a  new  wave  of  opposi- 
tion arose  during  1936.  The  Abb6  Wetterl6  was  the  leader  of 
those  who  after  the  War  welcomed  enthusiastically  the  coming 
of  the  French. 

Very  considerable  Nazi  propaganda  efforts  were  uncovered 
in  Alsace,  especially  in  Strassburg,  during  1938.  The  appeal 
seems  to  have  been  made  on  the  basis  of  relative  economic 
prosperity.  Peasants  in  particular  were  induced  to  believe 
that  a  millennium  had  dawned  across  the  Rhine. 


374  MEIN  KAMPF 

reasons,  these  parliamentary  party  rascals  have  stolen  and 
struck  from  the  hands  of  the  nation  the  weapon  of  self- 
preservation,  the  only  protection  of  the  freedom  and  inde- 
pendence of  our  people.  If  today  the  graves  of  Flanders  Field 
were  to  open,  out  of  them  would  rise  the  bloody  accusers, 
hundreds  of  thousands  of  the  best  young  Germans,  who  were 
driven  into  the  arms  of  death,  badly  and  half-trained,  due 
to  the  unscrupulousness  of  these  parliamentary  criminals; 
the  fatherland  has  lost  them  and  millions  of  cripples  and 
dead,  simply  and  solely  in  order  to  make  possible  for  a  few 
hundred  traitors  to  the  people,  political  wirepulling,  extor- 
tion, or  even  the  rattling  forth  of  doctrinary  theories. 

While  Jewry,  through  its  Marxist  and  democratic  press, 
proclaimed  to  the  whole  world  the  lie  of  German  'mili- 
tarism' and  thus  strove  to  incriminate  Germany  with  all 
possible  means,  the  same  parties  refused  any  large-scale 
training  of  the  strength  of  the  German  people.  Thus  the 
enormous  crime  which  was  brought  about  by  this  must  at 
once  become  clear  to  everyone  who  even  stops  to  think 
that  in  case  of  a  coming  war  the  entire  nation  would  have 
to  take  up  arms,  that  therefore  by  the  rascality  of  these 
nice  representatives  of  their  own  so-called  'representation 
of  the  people '  millions  of  Germans  would  be  driven  towards 
the  enemy  with  bad,  insufficient,  or  half-finished  training. 
But  even  if  one  does  not  take  into  consideration  at  all  the 
consequences  of  the  brutal  and  rude  unscrupulousness  of 
the  parliamentary  panders,  brought  about  in  this  manner, 
one  must  nevertheless  not  forget  that  the  shortage  of 
trained  soldiers  could  easily  lead,  at  the  beginning  of  a  war, 

The  pre-War  Reichstag  had  the  power  to  veto  budget  ap- 
propriations. It  is  not  correct  to  say  that  it  hampered  the  de- 
velopment of  the  army  of  the  ill-starred  navy,  though  certain 
extreme  demands  put  foward  by  Pan-Germanists  were  not 
found  acceptable. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  375 

to  losing  that  war,  something  that  happened  in  the  great 
World  War  in  such  a  terrible  manner. 

The  loss  of  the  fight  for  the  freedom  and  independence  of 
the  German  nation  is  the  result  of  the  half  measures  and 
the  weakness  carried  out  even  in  peace  in  drafting  the 
entire  force  of  the  people  for  the  defense  of  the  fatherland. 


t  If  too  few  recruits  were  trained  on  land,  the  same  half 
measures  were  at  work  at  sea,  so  that  the  weapon  of  na- 
tional self-preservation  was  made  more  or  less  worthless. 
Unfortunately,  however,  here  the  heads  of  the  navy  them- 
selves were  infected  by  this  poison.  The  tendency  to  build 
all  ships,  on  the  stocks,  always  a  little  smaller  than  the 
English  ships  launched  from  the  stocks  at  the  same  time, 
waa  little  farseeing  and  still  less  ingenious.  A  navy  which 
from  the  beginning  cannot  be  brought  to  the  same  level 
with  its  prospective  enemy,  purely  in  terms  of  numbers, 
must  try  to  replace  the  lack  in  numbers  by  the  superior 
fighting  power  of  the  single  ships.  It  is  the  superior  fighting 
power  that  matters  and  not  a  legendary  superior  'quality/ 
which  is  nonsense  as  long  as  it  does  not  express  itself  in 
fighting  power.  In  fact,  modern  technique  has  now  ad- 
vanced to  such  an  extent  and  has  arrived  at  so  great  a 
uniformity  in  the  various  civilized  States  that  it  must  be 
considered  impossible  to  give  to  the  ships  of  one  power 
a  considerably  greater  fighting  value  than  to  the  ships  of 
the  same  tonnage  of  another  State.  But  it  is  far  less  con- 
ceivable to  attain  superiority  with  smaller  displacement 
as  compared  with  a  greater. 

Indeed,  the  small  tonnage  of  the  German  ships  could  be 
brought  about  only  at  the  expense  of  speed  and  armament. 
The  phrase  with  which  one  now  tries  to  justify  this  fact 
shows,  however,  a  very  serious  lack  of  logic  on  the  part 
of  the  authority  which  was  responsible  for  this  in  peace 


376  MEIN  KAMPF 

times.  For  one  explained  that  the  material  of  the  German 
guns  was  so  visibly  superior  to  that  of  the  British  that  the 
German  28  cm.  gun  barrel  did  not  fall  behind  the  British 
30.5  cm.  barrel  in  firing  efficiency!! 

But  just  for  this  reason  it  would  have  been  the  duty 
now  also  to  change  over  to  the  30.5  cm.  cannon,  as  the  goal 
should  not  have  been  to  reach  the  same,  but  a  superior, 
fighting  power.  Otherwise  the  ordering  of  the  42  cm.  mortar 
would  have  been  superfluous  as  the  German  21  cm.  mortar 
was  in  itself  superior  to  any  French  high-angled  cannon, 
present  at  that  time,  but  the  forts  would  have  fallen  also 
before  the  30.5  cm.  cannon.  The  leaders  of  the  land  army 
thought  correctly,  but  those  of  the  navy  unfortunately 
did  not. 

The  abandonment  of  a  superior  effect  of  the  artillery  as 
well  as  of  a  superior  speed  was  founded  entirely  in  the 
so-called  'idea  of  risk,'  which  was  basically  wrong.  The 
heads  of  the  navy,  by  the  very  form  of  its  construction,  re- 
nounced the  offensive  and  thus  necessarily  stressed  the 
defensive.  But  with  this  one  also  renounced  ultimate  suc- 
cess, which  lies,  and  can  lie  forever,  only  in  the  offensive. 

A  ship  with  less  speed  and  weaker  armature  will  in  most 

It  would  be  difficult  to  buttress  these  assertions  with  facts. 
It  is  surely  not  the  fault  of  the  Reichstag  that  the  Admiralty 
adopted  a  type  of  gun  later  found  inadequate.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  not  a  few  Reichstag  delegates  —  notably  Matthias 
Erzberger  —  were  almost  pathetic  in  their  efforts  to  induce 
Admiral  von  Tirpitz  to  speed  up  armament.  The  development 
of  naval  aviation  was  urged  in  particular.  But  Tirpitz,  who 
did  not  wish  to  commit  himself  to  any  instrument  of  war  until 
its  efficiency  had  been  established,  was  slow  to  act.  In  the 
end  he  was,  of  course,  found  to  have  guessed  wrong.  Believing 
that  the  War  would  necessarily  be  of  brief  duration,  he  had 
supposed  that  the  British  fleet  would  attack  in  the  North  Sea. 
and  had  not  reckoned  with  the  blockade. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  377 

cases  be  sent  to  the  bottom  by  the  speedier  and  more 
heavily  armed  enemy  with  the  firing  distance  which  is  more 
favorable  to  the  latter.  Quite  a  number  of  our  cruisers  had 
to  experience  this  in  the  bitterest  manner.  However,  the 
War  showed  how  absolutely  wrong  was  this  opinion  of  the 
heads  of  the  navy  in  peace  time  which,  wherever  possible, 
forced  us  to  change  the  armature  of  the  old,  or  to  improve 
that  of  the  new,  ships.  But  if  in  the  battle  of  the  Skagerrak 
the  German  ships  had  had  the  same  tonnage,  the  same 
armament,  and  the  same  speed  as  the  British  ships,  then, 
under  the  hurricane  of  the  better-hitting  German  38  cm, 
shells,  the  British  fleet  would  have  sunk  into  a  watery  grave. 

Japan  at  one  time  had  carried  out  a  different  policy  for 
her  navy.  There  one  principally  stressed  the  point  of  having 
in  each  single  new  ship  a  superior  fighting  power  against 
the  prospective  enemy.  This  corresponded  to  the  possi- 
bility of  utilizing  the  navy  in  the  offensive. 

While  the  leaders  of  the  land][army  still  kept  themselves 
free  from  such  fundamentally  wrong  trains  of  thought,  the 
navy,  which  unfortunately  was  represented  *  parliamenta- 
rily '  in  a  better  way,  succumbed  also  to  the  mentality  of  this 
institution.  It  was  organized  by  halfway  viewpoints  and 
was  later  on  also  used  according  to  similar  ones.  What 
nevertheless  appeared  in  the  form  of  immortal  glory  was 
attributable  only  to  the  solid  German  craftsmanship  as 
well  as  to  the  ability  and  the  incomparable  heroism  of  the 
various  officers  and  crews.  But  if  the  former  headquarters 
of  the  navy  had  also  been  up  to  this  in  ingenuity,  the  sacri- 
fices would  not  have  been  in  vain. 

Thus  perhaps  it  was  just  the  superior  parliamentary 
ability  of  the  leading  head  of  the  navy  in  peace  time  that 
turned  out  to  be  its  misfortune,  since,  unfortunately  also 
in  its  structure,  instead  of  purely  military  viewpoints, 
parliamentary  viewpoints  began  to  play  the  decisive  r61e. 
The  half  measures  and  the  weakness,  as  well  as  the  scanty 


378  MEIN  KAMPF 

logic  which  is  the  parliamentary  institutions9  own,  began 
to  tint  also  the  heads  of  the  navy. 

As  already  pointed  out,  the  land  army  still  refrained 
from  such  trains  of  thought,  which  were  basically  wrong. 
Especially  the  colonel  in  the  Great  General  Staff  of  that 
time,  Ludendorff ,  led  a  desperate  fight  against  the  criminal 
half  measures  and  weakness  with  which  the  Reichstag 
faced  the  vital  questions  of  the  nation,  and  mostly  denied 
them.  If  the  battle  which  this  officer  fought  at  that  time 
was  nevertheless  futile,  the  fault  rested  half  upon  parlia- 
ment, but  half  upon  the,  if  possible,  still  more  wretched 
attitude  and  weakness  of  the  Reichs-Chancellor  Bethmann- 
Hollweg.  But  this  does  not  in  the  least  hinder  the  culprits 
of  the  German  collapse  from  trying  to  attribute  today  the 
guilt  to  the  very  man  who  alone  turned  against  this  negli- 
gent treatment  of  national  interests.  (One  betrayal  more 
or  less  never  makes  any  difference  to  these  born  wire- 
pullers.) 

He  who  thinks  over  all  these  sacrifices  which  were  bur- 
dened upon  the  nation  by  the  criminal  carelessness  of  these 
most  unscrupulous  men,  he  who  leads  before  his  eyes  all 
the  dead  and  the  cripples,  sacrificed  in  vain,  as  well  as  the 
boundless  disgrace  and  dishonor,  the  unspeakable  misery 
which  now  has  met  us,  and  he  who  knows  that  all  this  came 
only  in  order  to  open  the  way  towards  the  minister's  seat 
for  a  crowd  of  unscrupulously  pushing  persons  and  job- 
hunters,  will  also  understand  that  one  can  call  these  crea- 
tures really  only  by  words  like  scoundrel,  villain,  rascal, 
and  criminal,  because  otherwise  the  meaning  and  the  pur- 
pose of  the  existence  of  these  expressions  in  the  usage  of 
the  language  would  be  incomprehensible.  For,  in  compari- 
son with  these  traitors  to  the  nation,  every  pimp  is  a  gentle- 
man. 


.     THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  379 

But  it  is  strange  that  all  real  shadow  sides  of  the  old 
Germany  caught  the  eye  only  whenever  by  this  the  inner 
solidarity  of  the  nation  had  to  suffer  injury.  Indeed,  in 
such  cases,  the  disagreeable  truths  were  simply  shouted  out 
to  the  great  masses,  while  otherwise  one  preferred  shame- 
fully to  pass  by  in  silence  many  things,  even  partly  to  deny 
them.  This  was  the  case  whenever  an  improvement  could 
perhaps  have  been  carried  out  by  public  treatment  of  a 
question.  In  addition,  the  authoritative  parties  of  the 
government  understood  next  to  nothing  of  the  value  and 
the  nature  of  propaganda.  That  by  propaganda,  with 
permanent  and  clever  application,  even  heaven  can  be 
palmed  off  on  a  people  as  hell,  and,  the  other  way  round, 
the  most  wretched  life  as  paradise,  this  only  the  Jew  knew, 
who  then  acted  accordingly;  the  German,  or  rather  his 
government,  had  not  the  faintest  idea  of  this. 

This  was  to  take  its  most  serious  revenge  during  the  War. 


All  the  numerous  evils  of  the  German  life  before  the 
War,  as  pointed  out  here,  and  others,  were  set  off  also  by 
many  advantages.  With  a  just  examination  one  must  even 
acknowledge  that,  to  a  great  extent,  the  other  countries 
and  peoples  also  called  most  of  our  ills  their  own,  and  that 


Before  the  War,  Germany  had  relied  in  the  main  on  industrial 
rather  than  investment  expansion.  Branch  plants  were  es- 
tablished in  well-nigh  all  foreign  countries;  centers  of  trade 
influence  were  built  up,  often  at  great  cost.  When  the  War 
was  lost,  it  was  argued  that  the  friendship  which  had  bound 
the  Allied  countries  together  was  a  consequence  of  the  financial 
ties  which  existed  between  them.  A  favorite  thesis  has  been, 
for  example,  that  Germany's  freedom  from  indebtedness  to  the 
'bankers9  had  been  a  great  disadvantage,  since  no  one  had 
interests  at  stake  inside  her  boundaries.  German  Jewish  news- 


380  MEIN  KAMPF 

in  many  things  they  overshadowed  us  by  far,  while  they 
did  not  possess  many  of  our  actual  advantages. 

The  loremost  of  these  advantages  may  be  said,  among 
other  things,  to  be  the  fact  that  the  German  people  among 
nearly  all  European  nations  still  tried  most  of  all  to  pre- 
serve the  national  character  of  its  economy,  and  that, 
despite  many  evil  premonitions,  it  was  least  of  all  subject 
to  the  international  finance  control.  A  dangerous  ad- 
vantage, however,  which  later  on  also  became  the  greatest 
instigator  of  the  World  War. 

If  one  sets  aside  this  and  many  other  facts,  then  three 
institutions  stand  out  among  the  vast  number  of  the  healthy 
sources  of  the  nation's  power  which  in  their  kind  presented 
themselves  as  exemplary  as  well  as  partly  unexcelled. 

There  was  first  the  State  form  in  itself  and  the  dis- 
tinct stamp  which  it  had  received  in  the  Germany  of  modern 
times. 

Here  one  may  set  aside  the  various  monarchs,  who,  as 
human  beings,  could  not  help  being  subject  to  all  weak- 
nesses which  are  usually  visited  upon  this  world  and  its 
children,  for  otherwise  one  would  really  have  to  despair  al- 
together of  the  present;  for  the  representatives  of  the  pres- 
ent regime,  looked  upon  just  as  personalities,  are  perhaps 
mentally  and  morally  the  most  modest  that  one  is  able  to 
Imagine,  even  after  prolonged  reflection.  He  who  measures 
the  ' value*  of  the  German  Revolution  with  the  value  and 
the  greatness  of  the  personalities  which  it  has  given  to  the 
German  people  since  November,  1918,  will  cover  his  face 

papermen  and  pacifists  were  (so  ran  the  tale)  employed  to 
weaken  the  army  of  the  fatherland.  While  they  undermined 
German  resistance,  their  brethren  outside  stirred  up  the  rest 
of  the  world  against  Germany.  Doubtless  no  astute  Nazi 
leader  has  ever  credited  these  hypotheses,  which  were  designed 
for  the  consumption  of  the  infantile. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  381 

in  shame  before  the  judgment  of  posterity  which  one  will 
not  be  able  to  stop  from  talking  by  protective  laws,  etc., 
and  which  therefore  will  say  what  all  of  us  nevertheless 
recognize  today,  that  is,  that  the  brains  and  the  virtues  of 
our  neo-German  leaders  are  in  the  inverse  proportion  to  the 
snouts  and  vices. 

The  monarchy  was  certainly  estranged  from  many,  es- 
pecially from  the  great  masses  of  the  people.  This  was  the 
consequence  of  the  fact  that  the  monarchs  were  not  always 
surrounded  —  let  us  say  by  the  most  brilliant,  and  particu- 
larly not  by  the  most  honest,  heads.  Unfortunately,  they 
partly  preferred  the  flatterers  rather  than  the  straightfor- 
ward natures,  and  therefore  they  were  also  '  instructed '  by 
flatterers.  A  very  grave  evil  in  a  time  when  the  world  had 
undergone  a  great  change  in  many  old  opinions,  a  change 
which  now  naturally  did  not  stop  before  the  judgment  of 
many  old-established  traditions  of  the  Courts. 

At  the  turn  of  the  century,  therefore,  the  common  man 
and  human  being  was  no  longer  able  to  show  special  ad- 
miration for  a  princess  clad  in  a  uniform,  riding  along  a 
front.  It  is  obvious  that  one  was  not  able  to  imagine  the 
effect  of  such  a  parade  in  the  eyes  of  the  people,  because 
otherwise  such  unfortunate  incidents  would  probably  never 
have  taken  place.  Also,  the  humane  dreams  of  these  cir- 
cles, which  were  not  always  quite  genuine,  had  a  repelling 
rather  than  an  attractive  effect.  If,  for  example,  the  Prin- 
cess X  'deigned'  to  taste  a  sample  of  the  food  in  a  people's 
kitchen  with  the  wiell-known  result,  it  might  perhaps  have 
looked  well  enough  in  former  times,  but  the  success  at  that 
time  was  to  the  contrary.  In  this  case  one  may  well  assume 
that  Her  Highness  had  really  no  idea  that  on  the  day  of  her 
inspection  the  food  was  a  little  different  from  that  of  the 
other  days ;  but  it  was  quite  sufficient  that  the  people  knew 
this. 

Thus  the  best  possible  intention  became  ridiculous,  if 
not  actually  irritating. 


382  MEIN  KAMPF 

Descriptions  of  the  always  proverbial  frugality  of  the 
monarch,  his  much  too  early  rising  as  well  as  his  veritable 
drudgery  till  late  at  night,  besides,  with  the  continued 
danger  of  his  threatening  undernourishment,  nevertheless 
caused  very  doubtful  comments.  One  certainly  did  not 
want  to  know  what  and  how  much  the  monarch  had  the 
grace  to  take  in;  one  did  not  begrudge  him  a  'sufficient1 
meal;  also,  one  did  not  set  out  perhaps  to  deny  him  the 
necessary  sleep;  one  was  content  if  as  a  man  and  as  a  char- 
acter he  only  honored  the  name  of  his  house  and  the  nation 
and  fulfilled  his  duty  as  a  ruler.  The  telling  of  fairy  tales 
was  of  little  use,  and  it  was  all  the  more  harmful.** 

However,  this  and  many  similar  things  were  only  trifles. 
But,  unfortunately,  the  conviction  that  one  was  ruled  any- 
how from  above,  and  that  the  individual  need  not  care  for 
anything  further,  had  a  worse  effect  on  very  great  parts  of 
the  nation.  As  long  as  the  government  was  really  good  or 
at  least  had  the  best  intentions,  things  might  be  all  right. 
But  alas!  if  in  the  place  of  the  old  government,  which  in  it- 
self had  good  intentions,  a  new,  less  decent  one,  were  to 
step  in,  then  the  irresolute  obedience  and  the  childlike 
faith  were  the  most  serious  misfortune  conceivable. 

But  all  these  and  many  other  weaknesses  were  set  off 
also  by  undeniable  values. 

There  was  the  stability  of  the  entire  State  authority, 
caused  by  the  monarchistic  State  form,  as  well  as  the 
immunizing  of  the  highest  State  posts  from  the  turmoil  of 
the  speculations  of  ambitious  politicians.  Further,  the 
respectability  of  the  institution  in  itself,  as  well  as  the 
authority  caused  even  by  this;  finally,  the  uplifting  of  the 
body  of  officials  and  especially  of  the  army  above  the  level 
of  the  obligations  of  political  parties.  To  this  was  added 
the  advantage  of  the  personal  representation  of  the  head  of 
the  State  by  the  monarch  as  a  person,  and  the  example  of 
a  responsibility  which  the  monarch  has  to  shoulder  more 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  313 

than  the  accidental  crowd  of  a  parliamentary  majority. 
(The  proverbial  incorruptibility  of  the  German  administra- 
tion was  primarily  due  to  this.)  But  finally  the  cultural 
value  of  the  monarchy  was  a  high  one  for  the  German  peo- 
ple and  it  was  well  able  to  balance  other  disadvantages. 
The  German  monarchs1  residential  towns  were  still  the 
abodes  of  an  artistic  sense  which  nevertheless  threatens  to 
die  out  more  and  more  in  our  materialistic  time.  What  the 
German  princes  did  for  art  and  science  even  during  the 
nineteenth  century  was  exemplary.  In  any  case,  the  present 
time  must  not  be  compared  with  this. 


t  But  as  the  greatest  factor  of  value,  in  this  time  of  the 
beginning  and  slowly  spreading  decomposition  of  our  na- 


Perhaps  the  German  army  is  rivaled  only  by  the  French 
army  as  an  historical  institution.  Both  were  developed  during 
that  heyday  of  European  nationalism  which  coincided  with 
the  French  Revolution.  Both  taught  discipline,  health,  con- 
duct. But  whereas  the  French  look  back  upon  a  national 
history  more  or  less  continuous  since  the  days  of  ancient  Rome, 
the  Germany  of  1913  was  still  a  country  of  peoples,  almost  of 
tribes,  held  together  by  military  leaders.  The  heroes  were 
Frederick  the  Great,  Bismarck,  Moltke;  and  however  deeply 
any  citizen  might  resent  drill  and  warfare,  he  could  not  escape 
the  fact  that  Germany  was  the  army. 

That  is  why  the  abdication  of  the  army  in  1918  —  the  trans- 
fer of  authority  and  responsibility  to  a  government  without  a 
military  foundation  —  was  so  appalling  even  to  the  men  who 
took  up  the  burden  of  government.  They  had  suddenly,  in 
an  hour  of  demoralizing  defeat,  to  find  some  principle  of  unity 
which  was  not  military  in  character.  To  have  succeeded  would 
have  meant,  not  merely  the  creation  of  a  new  Germany,  but 
also  the  creation  of  a  new  ideology.  And  unfortunately  most 
of  the  leaders  had  to  face  the  fact  that  the  majority  of  their 


384  MEIN  KAMPF 

tional  body,  we  have  to  list  the  army.  It  was  the  mightiest 
school  of  the  German  nation,  and  for  no  other  reason  did  the 
hatred  of  all  enemies  direct  itself  precisely  against  this 
protection  of  national  self-preservation  and  freedom.  One 
cannot  present  a  more  glorious  monument  to  this  unique 
institution  than  the  establishment  of  the  truth  that  it  was 
calumniated,  hated,  fought,  but  also  feared,  by  all  inferior 
people.  That  at  Versailles  the  wrath  of  the  international 
exploiters  of  the  nation  directed  itself  primarily  against  the 
old  German  army  makes  it  all  the  more  recognizable  as  the 
protection  of  the  freedom  of  our  people  against  the  power 
of  the  stock  exchange.  Without  this  warning  power,  the 
meaning  of  Versailles  would  long  have  been  executed  upon 
our  people.  What  the  German  people  owes  to  the  army  may 
be  simply  summed  up  in  one  single  word,  namely:  every- 
thing. 

The  army  trained  for  absolute  responsibility  at  a  time 
when  this  quality  had  become  very  rare  and  the  shunning 
of  responsibility  had  more  and  more  become  the  order  of 
the  day,  starting  from  the  model  example  of  all  unscrupu- 
lousness,  the  parliament;  the  army  further  taught  personal 
courage  in  a  time  when  cowardice  threatened  to  become  a 
spreading  disease,  and  when  the  willingness  to  sacrifice,  to 
stand  up  for  the  general  welfare,  was  almost  looked  upon 
as  stupidity,  and  when  only  he  seemed  to  be  clever  who  un- 
derstood best  how  to  spare  himself  and  to  advance  his  own 
'ego';  it  was  the  school  which  still  taught  the  individual 

supporters  wanted,  not  something  new,  but  the  restoration 
of  the  old.  Not  to  have  foreseen  these  things  was  the  tragic 
psychological  blunder  of  Woodrow  Wilson  —  a  blunder  which 
was  really  worse  than  a  crime.  Wilson  came  from  a  people 
unified,  as  probably  no  other  people  has  ever  been,  by  an  ac- 
cepted tradition  of  constitutional  law;  and  he  imagined  that 
this  happy  situation  could  be  exported  to  other  lands. 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  385 

German  to  seek  the  salvation  of  the  nation,  not  in  the  men- 
dacious phrases  of  international  fraternity  between  negroes, 
Germans,  Chinese,  French,  British,  etc.,  but  rather  in  the 
strength  and  the  unity  of  his  own  nationality. 

The  army  taught  determination,  while  otherwise  in  daily 
life  lack  of  determination  and  doubt  began  to  govern  the 
actions  of  people.  It  actually  meant  something,  at  a  time 
when  the  super-wise  people  set  the  fashion  everywhere,  of 
keeping  up  the  principle  that  a  command  is  still  better  than 
no  command.  In  this  sole  principle  was  contained  a  still 
unspoiled,  robust  health  which  would  long  since  have  dis- 
appeared from  the  remainder  of  our  life  if  the  army  and  the 
education  it  gave  had  not  provided  for  the  continued  re- 
newal of  this  primordial  strength.  One  only  has  to  see  the 
terrible  lack  of  determination  of  our  present  Reichs  leaders 
who  are  not  able  to  pull  themselves  together,  unless  they 
have  to  deal  with  the  forced  signing  of  a  new  dictate  of  ex- 
ploitation; in  this  case,  of  course,  they  decline  all  responsi- 
bility and  with  the  speed  of  a  court  stenographer  they  sign 
everything  that  one  may  deem  fit  to  put  before  them,  for 
in  this  case  the  decision  is  easily  taken:  it  is  'dictated*  to 
them.-* 

The  army  further  taught  idealism  and  devotion  to  the 
fatherland  and  its  greatness,  while  life  had  otherwise  become 
the  sole  domain  of  greed  and  materialism.  It  educated  a 
uniform  people  as  compared  with  the  separation  into  classes, 
and  here  it  perhaps  showed  its  only  fault,  the  institution  of 
the  voluntary  enlistment  for  one  year.  A  fault  for  the  rea- 
son that  the  principle  of  absolute  equality  was  broken  and 
the  man  with  a  higher  education  was  lifted  out  of  the  frame 
of  the  general  surroundings,  while  just  the  contrary  would 
have  been  of  advantage.  With  the  seclusion  from  the 
world  of  our  upper  classes  which  was  so  great  even  then,  as 
well  as  the  always  increasing  estrangement  from  their  own 
people,  the  army  would  have  been  able  to  have  an  especially 


386  MEIN  KAMPF 

beneficial  effect  if  in  its  ranks  at  least  it  avoided  every 
separation  of  the  so-called  'intelligentsia.9  That  this  was 
not  done  was  a  mistake;  but  what  institution  in  this  world 
is  without  mistakes?  With  this  institution  the  good  sides 
were  predominant  to  such  an  extent  that  the  few  ills  were 
far  below  the  average  of  human  imperfection. 

But  the  greatest  service  of  the  army  of  the  old  Reich  was 
that,  in  a  time  of  the  general  'counting  by  majority'  of 
the  heads,  it  put  the  heads  above  the  majority.  In  the  face 
of  the  Jewish  democratic  idea  of  a  blind  worship  of  numbers, 
the  army  upheld  the  faith  in  personality.  Thus  it  also  bred 
what  the  newer  times  need  most  of  all:  men.  Yes,  indeed, 
in  the  swamp  of  a  generally  spreading  softening  and  ef- 
feminacy, out  of  the  ranks  of  the  army  there  shot  up  every 
year  350,000  vigorous  young  men  who  in  two  years'  train- 
ing had  lost  the  softness  of  youth  and  had  gained  bodies 
hard  as  steel.  The  young  man,  however,  who  during  this 
time  practiced  obedience,  also  learned  to  give  commands. 
Even  by  his  step,  one  recognized  the  trained  soldier. 

This  was  the  high  school  of  the  German  nation,  and  it 
was  not  for  nothing  that  the  grim  hatred  of  those  who,  out 
of  envy  and  greed,  needed  and  desired  the  weakness  of  the 
Reich  and  the  defenselessness  of  its  citizens,  was  concen- 
trated on  the  army.  What  many  Germans  in  blindness  or 
malicious  will  did  not  wish  to  see,  the  foreign  world  recog- 
nized in  the  German  army;  the  most  powerful  weapon  in  the 
service  of  the  freedom  of  the  German  nation  and  the 
nourishment  of  her  children. 


Added  to  the  State  form  as  well  as  to  the  army  came,  as 
the  third  in  the  alliance,  the  incomparable  body  of  officials 
of  the  old  Reich. 

Germany  was  the  best  organized  and  the  best  adminis- 
tered country  in  the  world.  One  could  well  accuse  it  of 


THE  CAUSES  OF  THE  COLLAPSE  387 

bureaucratic  red-tape,  but  this  was  no  different  in  all  the 
other  States,  even  rather  worse.  But  what  the  other  States 
did  not  possess  was  the  wonderful  solidarity  of  this  appara- 
tus as  well  as  the  incorruptible,  honest  loyalty  of  its  repre- 
sentatives. Better  to  be  a  little  pedantic,  but  honest  and 
loyal,  rather  than  enlightened  and  modern,  but  inferior  of 
character,  and,  as  is  frequently  shown  today,  ignorant  and 
incompetent.  For,  if  one  likes  to  pretend  that  the  German 
administration  of  the  pre-War  time  was  thought  bureau- 
cratically  genuine,  but  bad  from  the  business  point  of  view, 
to  this  one  can  answer  only  the  following:  Which  land  of  the 
world  had  a  better  managed  and  commercially  better  or- 
ganized administration  in  her  State  railways  than  Ger- 
many? It  was  reserved  only  for  the  Revolution  to  destroy 
this  model  apparatus  till  finally  it  appeared  ripe  to  be  taken 
out  of  the  hands  of  the  nation  and  to  become  'socialized' 
in  the  sense  of  the  founders  of  this  republic;  that  means, 
to  serve  the  international  stock  exchange  capital,  the  prin- 
cipal instigator  of  the  German  Revolution. 

What  thereby  distinguished  especially  the  body  of  Ger- 
man officials  and  the  apparatus  of  administration  was  its 
independence  of  the  various  governments  whose  political 
convictions  were  not  able  to  exercise  any  influence  on  the 
position  of  German  State  officials.  Since  the  Revolution, 
however,  this  has  changed  thoroughly.  The  place  of  com- 
petence and  ability  was  taken  by  party  conviction  and  a 
self-reliant  and  independent  character  was  now  an  impedi- 
ment rather  than  an  advantage. 

On  the  State  form,  the  army  and  the  body  of  officials 
rested  the  wonderful  power  and  strength  of  the  old  Reich. 
These  were  primarily  the  causes  of  a  quality  which  the  pre- 
sent-day State  lacks  completely:  the  State  authority!  For 
this  does  not  rest  on  drivel  in  the  parliaments  or  diets,  and 
also  not  on  the  laws  for  their  protection,  or  on  court  sen- 
tences for  the  frightening  of  impudent  deniers  of  this  au- 


388  MEIN  KAMPF 

thority,  but  on  the  general  confidence  which  may  and  can 
be  shown  in  the  management  and  the  administration  of  a 
community.  But  this  confidence  is  in  turn  only  the  result 
of  an  unshakable  inner  conviction  of  the  unselfishness  and 
the  honesty  of  the  government  and  the  administration  of  a 
country  as  well  as  of  a  harmony  between  the  meaning  of 
the  law  and  general  moral  views.  For,  in  the  long  run, 
government  systems  are  not  held  together  by  the  pressure 
of  force,  but  rather  by  the  belief  in  the  quality  and  the 
truthfulness  with  which  they  represent  and  promote  the 
interests  of  a  people. 


Therefore,  no  matter  how  seriously  certain  evils  of  the 
pre-War  time  ate  into  the  inner  strength  of  the  nation  and 
threatened  to  hollow  it  out,  one  must  not  forget  that  other 
States  suffered  from  these  diseases  still  more  than  Ger- 
many,  and  that  nevertheless  in  the  critical  hour  of  danger 
they  did  not  fail  and  did  not  perish.  But  if  one  considers 
that  the  German  weaknesses  before  the  War  were  balanced 
by  strong  sides  which  were  just  as  great,  then  the  ultimate 
cause  for  the  collapse  can  and  must  be  found  in  still  an- 
other field;  and  this  was  also  the  case. 

The  deepest  and  the  ultimate  cause  for  the  ruin  of  the 
old  Reich  was  found  in  the  non-recognition  of  the  race 
problem  and  its  importance  for  the  historical  development 
of  the  people.  For  events  in  the  lives  of  the  nations  are  not 
expressions  of  chance,  but,  by  the  laws  of  nature,  happen- 
ings of  the  urge  of  self-preservation  and  propagation  of 
species  and  race,  even  if  the  people  are  not  conscious  of  the 
inner  reasons  for  their  activitv. 


CHAPTER  XI 
NATION  AND  RACE 


are  statements  of  truth  which  are  so  obvious 
that  just  for  this  reason  the  common  world  does  not 
see,  or  at  least  does  not  recognize,  them.  At  times 
the  world  passes  these  well-known  truisms  blindly  and  it  is 
most  astonished  if  now  suddenly  somebody  discovers  what 
everybody  ought  to  know.  The  '  Columbus  eggs '  are  lying 
about  by  the  hundreds  of  thousands,  only  the  Columbuses 
are  rarely  seen. 

Thus,  without  exception,  people  wander  about  in  Na- 
ture's garden;  they  think  they  know  almost  everything, 
and  yet,  with  few  exceptions,  they  walk  blindly  by  one  of 
the  most  outstanding  principles  of  Nature's  working:  the 
inner  seclusion  of  the  species  of  all  living  beings  on  earth. 

Even  the  most  superficial  observation  shows,  as  an 
almost  brazen  basic  principle  of  all  the  countless  forms 
of  expression  of  Nature's  will  to  live,  her  limited  form  of 
propagation  and  increase,  limited  in  itself.  Every  animal 
mates  only  with  a  representative  of  the  same  species.  The 
titmouse  seeks  the  titmouse,  the  finch  the  finch,  the  stork 
the  stork,  the  field  mouse  the  field  mouse,  the  common 
mouse  the  common  mouse,  the  wolf  the  wolf,  etc. 

Only  exceptional  circumstances  can  change  this;  first  of 
all  the  compulsion  of  captivity,  as  well  as  any  other  impos- 


390  MEIN  KAMPF 

sibility  of  mating  within  the  same  species.  But  then  Nature 
begins  to  resist  this  with  the  help  of  all  visible  means,  and 
her  most  visible  protest  consists  either  of  denying  the  bas- 
tards further  procreative  faculty,  or  she  limits  the  fertility 
of  the  coming  offspring;  but  in  most  cases  she  takes  away 
the  capacity  of  resistance  against  disease  or  inimical  at- 
tacks. 

This  is  then  only  too  natural. 

Any  crossing  between  two  beings  of  not  quite  the  same 
high  standard  produces  a  medium  between  the  standards  of 
the  parents.  That  means:  the  young  one  will  probably  be 
on  a  higher  level  than  the  racially  lower  parent,  but  not  as 
high  as  the  higher  one.  Consequently,  it  will  succumb  later 
on  in  the  fight  against  the  higher  level.  But  such  a  mating 
contradicts  Nature's  will  to  breed  life  as  a  whole  towards  a 
higher  level.  The  presumption  for  this  does  not  lie  in  blend- 
ing the  superior  with  the  inferior,  but  rather  in  a  complete 
victory  of  the  former.  The  stronger  has  to  rule  and  he  is 
not  to  amalgamate  with  the  weaker  one,  that  he  may  not 
sacrifice  his  own  greatness.  Only  the  born  weakling  can 
consider  this  as  cruel,  but  at  that  he  is  only  a  weak  and 
limited  human  being;  for,  if  this  law  were  not  dominating, 
all  conceivable  development  towards  a  higher  level,  on  the 
part  of  all  organically  living  beings,  would  be  unthinkable 
for  man. 

The  consequence  of  this  purity  of  the  race,  generally 
valid  in  Nature,  is  not  only  the  sharp  limitation  of  the  races 
outwardly,  but  also  their  uniform  character  in  themselves. 
The  fox  is  always  a  fox,  the  goose  a  goose,  the  tiger  a  tiger, 
etc.,  and  the  difference  can  lie,  at  the  most,  in  the  different 
measure  of  strength,  force,  cleverness,  skill,  perseverance, 
etc.,  of  the  various  specimens.  But  there  will  never  be 
found  a  fox  which,  according  to  its  inner  nature,  would  per- 
haps have  humane  tendencies  as  regards  the  geese,  nor  will 
there  be  a  cat  with  a  friendly  disposition  towards  mice. 


NATION  AND  RACE  391 

Therefore  also,  here  the  fight  amongst  one  another 
originates  less  from  reasons  of  inner  aversion  than  from 
hunger  and  love.  In  both  cases,  Nature  looks  calm  and  even 
satisfied.  The  fight  for  daily  bread  makes  all  those  suc- 
cumb who  are  weak,  sickly,  and  less  determined,  while  the 
males'  fight  for  the  female  gives  the  right  of  propagation, 
or  the  possibility  of  it,  only  to  the  most  healthy.  But  the 
fight  is  always  a  means  for  the  promotion  of  the  species' 
health  and  force  of  resistance,  and  thus  a  cause  for  its  de- 
velopment towards  a  higher  level. 

If  it  were  different,  every  further  development  towards 
higher  levels  would  stop,  and  rather  the  contrary  would 
happen.  For,  since  according  to  numbers,  the  inferior  ele- 
ment always  outweighs  the  superior  element,  under  the 
same  preservation  of  life  and  under  the  same  propagating 
possibilities,  the  inferior  element  would  increase  so  much 
more  rapidly  that  finally  the  best  element  would  be  forced 
to  step  into  the  background,  if  no  correction  of  this  condi- 
tion were  carried  out.  But  just  this  is  done  by  Nature,  by 
subjecting  the  weaker  part  to  such  difficult  living  conditions 

This  appeal  to  the  sacred  norm  of  the  'survival  of  the  fittest* 
—  customary  in  Pan-German  literature  —  had  been  resorted 
to  as  well  by  critics  of  Socialism.  The  'tearful  sentimentality' 
of  the  humanitarians,  forever  attempting  to  salvage  what  had 
better  be  left  to  die,  is  denounced  by  Spengler  and  many  others. 
But  the  application  of  'fitness'  to  mating  is  something  else 
entirely,  deriving  from  Plato  through  a  number  of  intermedi- 
aries some  of  whom  can  be  sought  out  in  modern  anti-Semitic 
literature.  There  are  considerable  differences.  Thus,  Ludwig 
Schemann  thinks  that  Nature  does  not  mean  the  same  thing 
by  'fitness*  that  man  does,  and  that  therefore  any  vigorous  re- 
course to  eugenics  —  except  in  so  far  as  purely  negative  matters 
(health,  etc.)  are  concerned  —  would  prove  impossible  and 
impractical.  Others  have  gone  the  whole  way  and  advocated 
rigid  public  regulation  of  procreation. 


392  MEIN  KAMPF 

that  even  by  this  the  number  is  restricted,  and  finally  by 
preventing  the  remainder,  without  choice,  from  increasing, 
but  by  making  here  a  new  and  ruthless  choice,  according 
to  strength  and  health. 

Just  as  little  as  Nature  desires  a  mating  between  weaker 
individuals  and  stronger  ones,  far  less  she  desires  the  mix- 
ing of  a  higher  race  with  a  lower  one,  as  in  this  case  her  en- 
tire work  of  higher  breeding,  which  has  perhaps  taken  hun- 
dreds of  thousands  of  years,  would  tumble  at  one  blow. -4- 

Historical  experience  offers  countless  proofs  of  this.  It 
shows  with  terrible  clarity  that  with  any  mixing  of  the 
blood  of  the  Aryan  with  lower  races  the  result  was  the  end 
of  the  culture-bearer.  North  America,  the  population  of 
which  consists  for  the  greatest  part  of  Germanic  elements  — 
which  mix  only  very  little  with  the  lower,  colored  races  — 
displays  a  humanity  and  a  culture  different  from  those  of 
Central  and  South  America,  where  chiefly  the  Romanic 
immigrants  have  sometimes  mixed  with  the  aborigines  on  a 
large  scale.  By  this  example  alone  one  may  clearly  and  dis- 
tinctly recognize  the  influence  of  the  race  mixture.  The 
Germanic  of  the  North  American  continent,  who  has  re- 
mained pure  and  less  intermixed,  has  become  the  master  of 
that  continent,  he  will  remain  so  until  he,  too,  falls  victim 
to  the  shame  of  blood-mixing. 

f  The  result  of  any  crossing,  in  brief,  is  always  the  follow- 
ing: 

(a)  Lowering  of  the  standard  of  the  higher  race, 

(&)  Physical  and  mental  regression,  and,  with  it,  the  be- 
ginning of  a  slowly  but  steadily  progressive  lingering  ill- 
ness. 

To  bring  about  such  a  development  means  nothing  less 
than  sinning  against  the  will  of  the  Eternal  Creator. 

This  action,  then,  is  also  rewarded  as  a  sin. 

Man,  by  trying  to  resist  this  iron  logic  of  Nature,  be- 
comes entangled  in  a  fight  against  the  principles  to  which 


NATION  AND  RACE  393 

alone  he,  too,  owes  his  existence  as  a  human  being.  Thus 
his  attack  is  bound  to  lead  to  his  own  doom. 

Of  course,  now  comes  the  typically  Jewish,  impudent, 
but  just  as  stupid,  objection  by  the  modern  pacifist:  'Man 
conquers  Nature!' 

Millions  mechanically  and  thoughtlessly  repeat  this 
Jewish  nonsense,  and  in  the  end  they  imagine  that  they 
themselves  represent  a  kind  of  conqueror  of  Nature; 
whereas  they  have  no  other  weapon  at  their  disposal  but 
an  'idea,'  and  such  a  wretched  one  at  that,  so  that  accord- 
ing to  it  no  world  would  be  conceivable. 

But  quite  apart  from  the  fact  that  so  far  man  has  never 
conquered  Nature  in  any  affair,  but  that  at  the  most  he  gets 
hold  of  and  tries  to  lift  a  flap  of  her  enormous,  gigantic  veil 
of  eternal  riddles  and  secrets,  that  in  reality  he  does  not 
'invent'  anything  but  only  discovers  everything,  that  he 
does  not  dominate  Nature,  but  that,  based  on  the  know- 
ledge of  a  few  laws  and  secrets  of  Nature,  he  has  risen  to 
the  position  of  master  of  those  other  living  beings  lacking 

The  argument  has  been  put  another  way  by  Professor  Carl 
Schmitt  (cited  by  Kolnai) :  'A  universal  organization  in  which 
there  is  no  place  for  warlike  preservation  and  destruction  of 
human  life  would  be  neither  a  State  nor  an  Empire :  it  would  lose 
all  political  character/  Yet  this  is  not  Jewish  but  Christian 
teaching  that  is  under  criticism.  Cardinal  Faulhaber,  meeting 
the  objection  that  the  Old  Testament  is  filled  with  'hymns  of 
hate/  responded  that  Christianity  had  indeed  changed  those 
hymns  into  canticles  of  love,  and  added:  'There  is  no  alterna- 
tive: either  we  are  disciples  of  Christ,  or  we  lapse  into  the 
Judaism  of  antiquity  with  its  hymns  of  hate/  The  letter  which 
the  evangelical  churches  addressed  to  Hitler  in  June,  1936, 
contained  these  words:  'When  blood,  race,  creed,  nationality 
and  honor  are  thus  raised  to  the  rank  of  qualities  that  guarantee 
eternity,  the  Evangelical  Christian  is  bound,  by  the  first 
commandment,  to  reject  the  assumption/ 


394  MEIN  KAMPF 

this  knowledge;  but  quite  apart  from  this,  an  idea  cannot 
conquer  the  presumptions  for  the  origin  and  the  existence 
of  mankind,  as  the  idea  itself  depends  only  on  man.  With- 
out men  there  is  no  human  'idea'  in  this  world;  thus  the 
idea  is  always  caused  by  the  presence  of  men,  and,  with  it, 
of  all  those  laws  which  created  the  presumptions  for  this 
existence. 

And  not  only  that!  Certain  ideas  are  even  tied  to  cer- 
tain men.  This  can  be  said  most  of  all  of  just  such  thoughts 
the  content  of  which  has  its  origin,  not  in  an  exact  scientific 
truth,  but  rather  in  the  world  of  feeling,  or,  as  one  usually 
expresses  oneself  so  nicely  and  'clearly'  today,  which  re- 
flects an  'inner  experience.'  All  these  ideas,  which  have 
nothing  to  do  with  clear  logic  in  itself,  but  which  represent 
mere  expressions  of  feelings,  ethical  conceptions,  etc.,  are 
tied  to  the  existence  of  those  men  to  whose  spiritual  force 
of  imagination  and  creation  they  owe  their  own  existence. 
But  precisely  in  this  case  the  preservation  of  these  certain 
races  and  men  is  the  presumption  for  the  existence  of  these 
'ideas/  For  example,  he  who  actually  desires,  with  all  his 
heart,  the  victory  of  the  pacifistic  idea  in  this  world  would 
have  to  stand  up,  with  all  available  means,  for  the  conquest 
of  the  world  by  the  Germans;  for  if  it  should  come  about  the 
other  way  round,  then,  with  the  last  German,  the  last 
pacifist  would  die  off,  as  the  other  part  of  the  world  has 
hardly  ever  been  taken  in  so  deeply  by  this  nonsense,  ad- 
verse to  nature  and  to  reason,  as  unfortunately  our  own 
people.  Therefore,  whether  one  wanted  to  or  not,  if  one 
had  the  serious  will,  one  would  have  to  decide  to  wage  war  in 
order  to  arrive  at  pacifism.  This  and  nothing  else  was  what 
the  American  world-redeemer  Wilson  wanted  to  have  done, 
at  least  our  German  visionaries  believed  in  this.  With  this, 
then,  the  purpose  was  fulfilled.-* 

Indeed,  the  pacifist-humane  idea  is  perhaps  quite  good 
whenever  the  man  of  the  highest  standard  has  previously 


NATION  AND  RACE  395 

conquered  and  subjected  the  world  to  a  degree  that  makes 
him  the  only  master  of  this  globe.  Thus  the  idea  is  more  and 
more  deprived  of  the  possibility  of  a  harmful  effect  in  the 
measure  in  which  its  practical  application  becomes  rare  and 
finally  impossible.  Therefore,  first  fight,  and  then  one  may 
see  what  can  be  done.  In  the  other  case,  mankind  has  passed 
the  climax  of  its  development,  and  the  end  is  not  the  rule  of 
some  ethical  'idea/  but  barbarism,  and,  in  consequence, 
chaos.  Naturally,  here  the  one  or  the  other  may  laugh,  but 
this  planet  has  driven  on  its  course  through  the  ether  for 
millions  of  years  without  men,  and  the  day  may  come  when 
it  will  do  so  again,  if  people  forget  that  they  owe  their  higher 
existence,  not  to  the  ideas  of  some  crazy  ideologists,  but  to 


The  foregoing  passages  are  derived  in  the  main  from  Houston 
Stewart  Chamberlain,  but  with  nuances  that  suggest  the 
influence  of  Rosenberg,  or  at  least  of  the  Free  Corps  which 
imported  so  much  militaristic  anti-Semitism  into  Germany 
after  the  War.  For  Chamberlain  the  moral  superiority  of  the 
'Aryan*  is  undeniable;  and  therefore,  if  humanity  is  not  to 
decline  morally,  it  must  hope  for  the  victory  of  the  'Aryan* 
over  lesser  peoples.  But  Chamberlain  is  quite  honest:  for  him 
a '  German '  and  an  '  Aryan '  are  the  same  thing.  He  was  bitterly 
disappointed  when  1918  seemed  to  mean  perpetual  moral  de- 
gradation for  the  human  race.  In  his  famous  letter  to  Hitler, 
following  their  meeting  in  1923,  he  wrote,  therefore:  4At  one 
blow  you  have  transformed  the  state  my  soul  was  in.  Ger- 
many's vitality  is  proved  if  in  this  hour  of  its  deepest  need  it 
can  produce  a  Hitler/  Perhaps  the  basis  of  this  attitude  as  a 
whole  must  be  sought  in  those  fears  of  an  eventual  'war  be- 
tween races'  which  were  aired  as  early  as  the  eighteenth  cen- 
tury, but  reached  a  kind  of  apogee  during  the  nineteenth. 
Then  the  inferiority  of  the  'colored  races '  was  taken  for  granted, 
though  the  interest  taken  in  a  newly  discovered  Indian  litera- 
ture, ascribed  in  theory  to  an  ' Indo-Germanic  invasion9  of 
Asia,  tended  to  make  many  place  the  Brahmins  on  a  somewhat 


396  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  knowledge  and  the  ruthless  application  of  Nature's 
brazen  laws. 

Everything  that  today  we  admire  on  this  earth  —  science 
and  art,  technique  and  inventions  —  is  only  the  creative 
product  of  a  few  peoples  and  perhaps  originally  of  one  race. 
On  them  now  depends  also  the  existence  of  this  entire  cul- 
ture. If  they  perish,  then  the  beauty  of  this  earth  sinks 
into  the  grave  with  them. 

t  No  matter  how  much  the  soil,  for  instance,  is  able  to  in- 
fluence the  people,  the  result  will  always  be  a  different  one, 
according  to  the  races  under  consideration.  The  scanty 
fertility  of  a  living  space  may  instigate  one  race  towards 
the  highest  achievements,  while  with  another  race  this  may 
only  become  the  cause  for  the  most  dire  poverty  and  ulti- 
mate malnutrition  with  all  its  consequences.  The  inner  dis- 
position of  the  peoples  is  always  decisive  for  the  way  in 
which  outward  influences  work  themselves  out.  What  leads 
one  people  to  starvation,  trains  the  other  for  hard  work. 

All  great  cultures  of  the  past  perished  only  because  the 
originally  creative  race  died  off  through  blood-poisoning. 

The  ultimate  cause  of  such  a  decline  was  always  the  for- 
getting that  all  culture  depends  on  men  and  not  the  re- 
verse; that  means,  that  in  order  to  save  a  certain  culture  the 
man  who  created  it  has  to  be  saved.  But  the  preservation 
is  bound  to  the  brazen  law  of  necessity  and  of  the  right  of 
the  victory  of  the  best  and  the  strongest  in  this  world. 

higher  level.  Later  on  the  'negroid  characteristics'  of  the 
Mediterranean  races  were  stressed  by  Pan-German  writers. 
The  Latin,  the  Catholic,  was  of  highly  questionable  value. 
The  Germanic  Aryan  had  a  right  to  dominate,  and  eventually 
he  surely  would.  After  the  War  the  stress  was  shifted  to  the 
Jew,  partly  because  French  'inferiority'  had  not  been  satis- 
factorily demonstrated,  after  all,  and  partly  because  the  Free 
Corps  encouraged  the  view  that  Jewry  was  responsible  for 
Germany's  acquiescence  in  Allied  demands. 


NATION  AND  RACE  397 

He  who  wants  to  live  should  fight,  therefore,  and  he  who 
does  not  want  to  battle  in  this  world  of  eternal  struggle  does 
not  deserve  to  be  alive. 

Even  if  this  were  hard,  this  is  the  way  things  are.  But 
it  is  certain  that  by  far  the  hardest  fate  is  the  fate  which 
meets  that  man  who  believes  he  can  'conquer'  Nature,  and 
yet,  in  truth,  only  seems  to  mock  her.  Misery,  distress,  and 
diseases  are  then  her  answer! 

The  man  who  misjudges  and  disdains  the  laws  of  race 
actually  forfeits  the  happiness  that  seems  destined  to  be  his. 
He  prevents  the  victorious  march  of  the  best  race  and  with 
it  also  the  presumption  for  all  human  progress,  and  in  con- 
sequence he  will  remain  in  the  domain  of  the  animal's  help- 
less misery,  burdened  with  the  sensibility  of  man. 


It  is  a  futile  enterprise  to  argue  which  race  or  races  were 
the  original  bearers  of  human  culture  and,  with  it,  the  ac- 
tual founders  of  what  we  sum  up  with  the  word  'mankind.' 
It  is  simpler  to  put  this  question  to  oneself  with  regard  to 
the  present,  and  here  the  answer  follows  easily  and  dis- 
tinctly. What  we  see  before  us  of  human  culture  today,  the 
results  of  art,  science,  and  techniques,  is  almost  exclusively 
the  creative  product  of  the  Aryan.  But  just  this  fact  admits 
of  the  not  unfounded  conclusion  that  he  alone  was  the 
founder  of  higher  humanity  as  a  whole,  thus  the  prototype 

This  idyl  of  'Aryan '  pre-history  is  interesting  because  of  the 
definition  of  'culture'  that  is  involved.  For  'culture'  in  this 
sense  is  once  again  become  the  principal  concern  of  Europe. 
The  'Aryan'  succeeds  in  pushing  his  way  onward  and  upward 
by  conquering  lesser  peoples  and  using  them  as  'helping  forces' 
(slaves).  Then,  however,  master  and  slave  intermarry,  and 
tho  '  culture '  decays.  Perhaps  this  is  only  an  analogy  borrowed 
from  some  pictorial  history  of  European  colonizing  effort: 
perhaps  it  is  more  philosophical.  Spengler  had  taught  —  in 


398  MEIN  KAMPF 

of  what  we  understand  by  the  word  'man.'  He  is  the 
Prometheus  of  mankind,  out  of  whose  bright  forehead 
springs  the  divine  spark  of  genius  at  all  times,  forever  re- 
kindling that  fire  which  in  the  form  of  knowledge  lightened 
up  the  night  of  silent  secrets  and  thus  made  man  climb  the 
path  towards  the  position  of  master  of  the  other  beings  on 
this  earth.  Exclude  him  —  and  deep  darkness  will  again  fall 
upon  the  earth,  perhaps  even,  after  a  few  thousand  years, 
human  culture  would  perish  and  the  world  would  turn 
into  a  desert. -4- 

If  one  were  to  divide  mankind  into  three  groups:  culture- 
founders,  culture-bearers,  and  culture-destroyers,  then,  as 
representative  of  the  first  kind,  only  the  Aryan  would  come 
in  question.  It  is  from  him  that  the  foundation  and  the 
walls  of  all  human  creations  originate,  and  only  the  external 
form  and  color  depend  on  the  characteristics  of  the  various 
peoples  involved.  He  furnishes  the  gigantic  building-stones 
and  also  the  plans  for  all  human  progress,  and  only  the  exe- 
cution corresponds  to  the  character  of  the  people  and  races 
in  the  various  instances.  In  a  few  decades,  for  instance,  the 
entire  east  of  Asia  will  call  a  culture  its  own,  the  ultimate 
bases  of  which  will  be  Hellenic  spirit  and  Germanic  tech- 
nique, just  as  is  the  case  with  us.  Only  the  external  form 
will  (at  least  partly)  bear  the  features  of  Asiatic  character. 
It  is  not  the  case,  as  some  people  claim,  that  Japan  adds 
European  techniques  to  her  culture,  but  European  science 
and  techniques  are  trimmed  with  Japanese  characteristics. 

the  Decline  of  the  West  —  that  cultures  arise  and  fall  cyclically; 
and  Hitler  here  provides  a  convenient  illustration  of  why 
they  fall.  Therewith  the  riddle  proposed  by  Spengler  is  solved; 
the  'culture-making'  folk  is  that  which,  obeying  the  law  that 
only  the  fittest  survive,  embarks  on  conquest  and  exploitation; 
and  the  'culture-destroying  folk9  is  the  slave  breed  which 
tempts  the  aristocratic  group  into  intermarriage.  This  i§ 
Nietzsche  materialized. 


NATION  AND  RACE  399 

But  the  basis  of  actual  life  is  no  longer  the  special  Japanese 
culture,  although  it  determines  the  color  of  life  (because  out- 
wardly, in  consequence  of  its  inner  difference,  it  is  more 
visible  to  European  eyes),  but  it  is  the  enormous  scientific 
and  technical  work  of  Europe  and  America,  that  is,  of 
Aryan  peoples.  Based  on  these  achievements  alone  the 
East  is  also  able  to  follow  general  human  progress.  This 
creates  the  basis  for  the  fight  for  daily  bread,  it  furnishes 
weapons  and  tools  for  it,  and  only  the  external  makeup  is 
gradually  adapted  to  Japanese  life. 

But  if,  starting  today,  all  further  Aryan  influence  upon 
Japan  should  stop,  and  supposing  that  Europe  and  America 
were  to  perish,  then  a  further  development  of  Japan's 
present  rise  in  science  and  technology  could  take  place  for  a 
little  while  longer;  but  in  the  time  of  a  few  years  the  source 
would  dry  out,  Japanese  life  would  gain,  but  its  culture 
would  stiffen  and  fall  back  into  the  sleep  out  of  which  it  was 
startled  seven  decades  ago  by  the  Aryan  wave  of  culture. 
Therefore,  exactly  as  the  present  Japanese  development 
owes  its  life  to  Aryan  origin,  thus  also  in  the  dim  past 
foreign  influence  and  foreign  spirit  were  the  awakener  of  the 
Japanese  culture.  The  best  proof  of  this  is  the  fact  that  the 
latter  stiffened  and  became  completely  paralyzed  later  on. 
This  can  only  happen  to  a  people  when  the  originally  crea- 
tive race  nucleus  was  lost,  or  when  the  external  influence, 
which  gave  the  impetus  and  the  material  for  the  first  de- 
velopment in  the  cultural  field,  was  lacking  later  on.  But 
if  it  is  ascertained  that  a  people  receives,  takes  in,  and  works 
over  the  essential  basic  elements  of  its  culture  from  other 
races,  and  if  then,  when  a  further  external  influence  is  lack- 
ing, it  stiffens  again  and  again,  then  one  can  perhaps  call 
such  a  race  a  'culture-bearing'  one  but  never  a  'culture-cre- 
ating' one. 

An  examination  of  the  various  peoples  from  this  view- 
point evidences  the  fact  that  in  nearly  all  cases  one  has  to 


400  MEIN  KAMPF 

deal,  not  with  originally  culture-creating,  but  rather  always 
with  culture-supporting  peoples. 

It  is  always  about  the  following  picture  of  their  develop- 
ment that  presents  itself: 

Aryan  tribes  (often  in  a  really  ridiculously  small  number 
of  their  own  people)  subjugate  foreign  peoples,  and  now, 
stimulated  by  the  special  living  conditions  of  the  new  terri- 
tory (fertility,  climatic  conditions,  etc.)  and  favored  by  the 
mass  of  the  helping  means  in  the  form  of  people  of  inferior 
kind  now  at  their  disposal,  they  develop  the  mental  and 
organizatory  abilities,  slumbering  in  them.  Often,  in  the 
course  of  a  few  millenniums  or  even  centuries,  they  create 
cultures  which  originally  completely  bear  the  inner  features 
of  their  character,  adapted  to  the  already  mentioned  special 
qualities  of  the  soil  as  well  as  of  the  subjected  people. 
Finally,  however,  the  conquerors  deviate  from  the  purity  of 
their  blood  which  they  maintained  originally,  they  begin  to 
mix  with  the  subjected  inhabitants  and  thus  they  end  their 
own  existence;  for  the  fall  of  man  in  Paradise  has  always 
been  followed  by  expulsion  from  it. 

f  Often,  after  a  thousand  and  more  years,  the  last  visible 
trace  of  the  one-time  overlords  is  shown  in  the  fairer  com- 
plexion which  their  blood  has  left,  in  the  form  of  the  color, 
to  the  subjected  race,  and  in  a  petrified  culture  which  they 
had  founded  as  the  original  creators.  For,  just  as  the  actual 
and  spiritual  conqueror  lost  himself  in  the  blood  of  the  sub- 
jected, thus  also  the  fuel  for  the  torch  of  human  culture 
progress  was  lost!  As  through  the  blood  the  color  of  the 
former  masters  keeps  a  faint  glimmer  as  a  memory  of  them, 
thus  also  the  night  of  the  cultural  life  is  faintly  brightened 
by  the  creations  that  remained  of  the  erstwhile  bearers  of 
light.  These  now  shone  through  all  the  barbarism  that  has 
returned,  and  in  the  thoughtless  observer  of  the  moment 
they  awaken  only  too  frequently  the  opinion  that  he  sees 
the  picture  of  the  present  people,  whereas  it  is  only  the  mir- 
ror of  the  past  at  which  he  is  looking. 


NATION  AND  RACE  401 

Then  it  may  happen  that  such  a  people  for  a  second  time, 
nay,  even  more  often  in  the  life  of  its  history,  comes  into 
touch  with  the  race  of  its  one-time  suppliers  of  culture, 
without  a  memory  of  former  meetings  necessarily  being 
present.  The  remainder  of  the  blood  of  the  one-time  mas- 
ters will  unconsciously  turn  to  the  new  apparition,  and  what 
first  was  only  possible  by  compulsion  will  now  succeed  with 
the  help  of  their  own  will.  Then  a  new  culture  wave  makes 
its  entrance  and  lasts  until  its  bearers  have  once  more  been 
submerged  in  the  blood  of  foreign  peoples. 

It  will  be  the  task  of  a  future  culture  and  world  history 
to  make  researches  in  this  sense  and  not  to  suffocate  by  re- 
flecting external  facts,  as  this  is  unfortunately  only  too 
often  the  case  with  our  present  science  of  history. 

Merely  from  this  sketch  of  the  development  of  '  culture- 
bearing'  nations  results  also  the  picture  of  the  origin,  the 
work,  and  —  the  decline  of  the  true  culture-creators  of  this 
globe,  the  Aryans  themselves. 

Just  as  in  daily  life  the  so-called  genius  requires  a  special 

No  definition  of  the  word  'Aryan*  is  acceptable.  German 
lexicographers  were  hard  pressed  to  hit  upon  an  accurate 
description.  The  term  itself  is  probably  of  Sanskrit  origin, 
and  seems  to  have  meant  'friends/  It  was  next  assumed  that 
these  'friends'  were  Indo-Germans,  who  (it  was  further  as- 
sumed) had  invaded  India  and  subjugated  the  'lesser  breeds/ 
Finally  'Aryan*  became  just  a  synonym  for  'Indo-German.' 
The  1931  edition  of  the  encyclopedia  Der  grosse  Herder  said: 
'Recently  some  have  used  (ethnologically,  in  an  incorrect  way) 
'Aryan*  to  indicate  Indo-Germans  in  general.  In  this  case, 
the  term  is  used  as  in  the  nature  of  a  slogan  in  the  struggle 
over  the  self-determination  and  preservation  of  our  race  against 
Jewry,  which  is  of  a  different  order.'  For  this  and  similar 
definitions  (surely  discreet  enough),  the  earlier  volumes  of  this 
encyclopedia  were  ordered  withdrawn  from  circulation.  In 
practice  the  word  is  officially  used  today  as  a  racial  term 


402  MEIN  KAMPF 

cause,  often  even  a  real  impetus  in  order  to  be  made  con- 
spicuous, the  same  is  also  the  case  with  the  ingenious  race 
in  the  life  of  the  peoples.  In  the  monotony  of  everyday  life 
even  important  people  often  seem  unimportant  and  they 
hardly  stand  out  over  the  average  of  their  surroundings; 
but  as  soon  as  they  are  faced  by  a  situation  in  which  others 
would  despair  or  go  wrong,  out  of  the  plain  average  child 
the  ingenious  nature  grows  visibly,  not  infrequently  to  the 
astonishment  of  all  those  who  hitherto  had  an  opportunity 
to  observe  him,  who  had  meanwhile  grown  up  in  the  small- 
ness  of  bourgeois  life,  and  therefore,  in  consequence  of  this 
process,  the  prophet  has  rarely  any  honor  in  his  own  coun- 
try. Never  is  there  a  better  opportunity  to  observe  this 
than  during  war.  In  the  hours  of  distress,  when  others  de- 
spair, out  of  apparently  harmless  children,  there  shoot  sud- 
denly heroes  of  death-defying  determination  and  icy  cool- 
ness of  reflection.  If  this  hour  of  trial  had  never  come,  then 
hardly  anyone  would  ever  have  been  able  to  guess  that  a 
young  hero  is  hidden  in  the  beardless  boy.  Nearly  always 
such  an  impetus  is  needed  in  order  to  call  genius  into  action. 


excluding  Jews  and  negroes.  The  second  are  frowned  upon 
because  (i.a.)  they  are  admitted  into  the  French  army;  and 
because,  it  is  hoped,  sympathy  for  the  Nazi  cause  may  be 
thus  awakened  among  Southerners  in  the  United  States. 
Delegations  of  'Brahmins1  have,  however,  been  cordially 
welcomed  to  the  New  Germany. 

Parallels  to  this  can  be  found  in  the  writings  of  Pan-Germans 
like  Heinrich  Class  and  Count  Reventlow.  In  an  address 
delivered  during  1932,  Hitler  declared;  'Let  them  call  us  in- 
human! If  we  save  Germany,  we  shall  have  done  the  greatest 
deed  in  the  world.  Let  them  call  us  unjust!  If  we  save  Ger- 
many, we  shall  have  repaired  the  greatest  injustice  in  the 
world.  Let  them  say  that  we  are  without  morality!  If  our 
people  is  saved,  we  shall  have  paved  the  way  for  morality!' 


NATION  AND  RACE  403 

Fate's  hammer  stroke,  which  then  throws  the  one  to  the 
ground,  suddenly  strikes  steel  in  another,  and  while  now  the 
shell  of  everyday  life  is  broken,  the  erstwhile  nucleus  lies 
open  to  the  eyes  of  the  astonished  world.  The  latter  now  re- 
sists and  does  not  want  to  believe  that  the  apparently 
'identical'  kind  is  now  suddenly  supposed  to  be  a  'differ- 
ent' being;  a  process  which  repeats  itself  with  every  eminent 
human  being. 

Although  an  inventor,  for  instance,  establishes  his  fame 
only  on  the  day  of  his  invention,  one  must  not  think  that 
perhaps  his  genius  in  itself  had  entered  the  man  only  just 
at  this  hour,  but  the  spark  of  genius  will  be  present  in  the 
forehead  of  the  truly  creatively  gifted  man  from  the  hour  of 
his  birth,  although  for  many  years  in  a  slumbering  condi- 
tion and  therefore  invisible  to  the  rest  of  the  world.  But 
some  day,  through  an  external  cause  or  impetus  of  some 
kind,  the  spark  becomes  fire,  something  that  only  then  be- 
gins to  stir  the  attention  of  other  people.  The  most  stupid 
of  them  believe  now  in  all  sincerity  that  the  person  in  ques- 
tion has  just  become  'clever,'  whereas  in  reality  they  them- 
selves now  begin  at  last  to  recognize  his  greatness;  for  true 
genius  is  always  inborn  and  never  acquired  by  education  or, 
still  less,  by  learning. 

This,  however,  may  be  said,  as  already  stressed,  not  only 
for  the  individual  man,  but  also  for  the  race.-*-  Creatively 
active  peoples  are  creatively  gifted  from  the  very  bottom 
and  forever,  although  this  may  not  be  recognizable  to  the 
eyes  of  the  superficial  observer.  Here,  too,  external  recogni- 
tion is  always  only  possible  as  a  consequence  of  accom- 
plished facts,  as  the  rest  of  the  world  is  not  able  to  recognize 
genius  in  itself,  but  sees  only  its  visible  expressions  in  the  form 
of  inventions,  discoveries,  buildings,  pictures,  etc. ;  but  even 
here  it  often  takes  a  long  time  till  it  is  able  to  struggle 
through  to  this  knowledge.  Exactly  as  in  the  life  of  the  in- 
dividual important  man  his  genius  or  extraordinary  ability 


404  MEIN  KAMPF 

strives  towards  its  practical  realization  only  when  urged  on 
by  special  occasions,  thus  also  in  the  life  of  the  peoples  the 
real  use  of  creative  forces  and  abilities  that  are  present 
can  take  place  only  when  certain  presumptions  invite  to 
this. 

We  see  this  most  clearly  in  that  race  that  cannot  help 
having  been,  and  being,  the  supporter  of  the  development 
of  human  culture  —  the  Aryans.  As  soon  as  Fate  leads  them 
towards  special  conditions,  their  latent  abilities  begin  to 
develop  in  a  more  and  more  rapid  course  and  to  mold  them- 
selves into  tangible  forms.  The  cultures  which  they  found 
in  such  cases  are  nearly  always  decisively  determined  by  the 
available  soil,  the  climate,  and  —  by  the  subjected  people. 
The  latter,  however,  is  the  most  decisive  of  all  factors.  The 
more  primitive  the  technical  presumptions  for  a  cultural 
activity  are,  the  more  necessary  is  the  presence  of  human 
auxiliary  forces  which  then,  collected  and  applied  with  the 
object  of  organization,  have  to  replace  the  force  of  the  ma- 
chine. Without  this  possibility  of  utilizing  inferior  men,  the 
Aryan  would  never  have  been  able  to  take  the  first  steps 
towards  his  later  culture;  exactly  as,  without  the  help  of 
various  suitable  animals  which  he  knew  how  to  tame,  he 
would  never  have  arrived  at  a  technology  which  now  allows 
him  to  do  without  these  very  animals.  The  words  'Der 
Mohr  hoi  seine  Schuldigkeit  getan,  er  kann  gehen'  [The  Moor 
has  done  his  duty,  he  may  go]  has  unfortunately  too  deep  a 
meaning.  For  thousands  of  years  the  horse  had  to  serve  man 
and  to  help  in  laying  the  foundations  of  a  development 
which  now,  through  the  motor-car,  makes  the  horse  itself 
superfluous.  In  a  few  years  it  will  have  ceased  its  activity, 
but  without  its  former  co-operation  man  would  hardly 
have  arrived  at  where  he  stands  today. 

Therefore,  for  the  formation  of  higher  cultures,  the  exist- 
ence of  inferior  men  was  one  of  the  most  essential  presump- 
tions, because  they  alone  were  able  to  replace  the  lack  of 


NATION  AND  RACE  405 

technical  means  without  which  a  higher  development  is  un- 
thinkable. The  first  culture  of  mankind  certainly  depended 
less  on  the  tamed  animal,  but  rather  on  the  use  of  inferior 
people. 

Only  after  the  enslavement  of  subjected  races,  the  same 
fate  began  to  meet  the  animals,  and  not  vice  versa,  as  many 
would  like  to  believe.  For  first  the  conquered  walked  be- 
hind [in  later  editions  read :  before]  the  plow  —  and  after 
him,  the  horse.  Only  pacifist  fools  can  again  look  upon 
this  as  a  sign  of  human  baseness,  without  making  clear 
to  themselves  that  this  development  had  to  take  place 
in  order  to  arrive  finally  at  that  place  from  where  today 
these  apostles  are  able  to  sputter  forth  their  drivel  into  the 
world. 

The  progress  of  mankind  resembles  the  ascent  on  an  end- 
less ladder;  one  cannot  arrive  at  the  top  without  first  hav- 
ing taken  the  lower  steps.  Thus  the  Aryan  had  to  go  the 
way  which  reality  showed  him  and  not  that  of  which  the 
imagination  of  a  modern  pacifist  dreams.  The  way  of  real- 
ity, however,  is  hard  and  difficult,  but  it  finally  ends  where 
the  other  wishes  to  bring  mankind  by  dreaming,  but  un- 
fortunately removes  it  from,  rather  than  brings  it  nearer  to,  it. 

Therefore,  it  is  no  accident  that  the  first  cultures  origi- 
nated in  those  places  where  the  Aryan,  by  meeting  lower 
peoples,  subdued  them  and  made  them  subject  to  his  will. 
They,  then,  were  the  first  technical  instrument  in  the  serv- 
ice of  a  growing  culture. 

With  this  the  way  that  the  Aryan  had  to  go  was  clearly 
lined  out.  As  a  conqueror  he  .subjected  the  lower  peoples 
and  then  he  regulated  their  practical  ability  according  to 
his  command  and  his  will  and  for  his  aims.  But  while  he 
thus  led  them  towards  a  useful,  though  hard  activity,  he 
not  only  spared  the  lives  of  the  subjected,  but  perhaps  he 
even  gave  them  a  fate  which  was  better  than  that  of  their 
former  so-called  '  freedom/  As  long  as  he  kept  up  ruthlessly 


406  MEIN  KAMPF 

the  master's  standpoint,  he  not  only  really  remained  'mas- 
ter* but  also  the  preserver  and  propagator  of  the  culture. 
For  the  latter  was  based  exclusively  on  his  abilities,  and, 
with  it,  on  his  preservation  in  purity.  But  as  soon  as  the 
subjected  peoples  themselves  began  to  rise  (probably)  and 
approached  the  conqueror  linguistically,  the  sharp  separat- 
ing wall  between  master  and  slave  fell.  The  Aryan  gave  up 
the  purity  of  his  blood  and  therefore  he  also  lost  his  place 
in  the  Paradise  which  he  had  created  for  himself.  He  be- 
came submerged  in  the  race-mixture,  he  gradually  lost  his 
cultural  ability  more  and  more,  till  at  last  not  only  mentally 
but  also  physically  he  began  to  resemble  more  the  sub- 
jected and  aborigines  than  his  ancestors.  For  some  time  he 
may  still  live  on  the  existing  cultural  goods,  but  then  petri- 
faction sets  in,  and  finally  oblivion. 

In  this  way  cultures  and  realms  collapse  in  order  to  make 
room  for  new  formations. 

The  blood-mixing,  however,  with  the  lowering  of  the 
racial  level  caused  by  it,  is  the  sole  cause  of  the  dying-off 
of  old  cultures;  for  the  people  do  not  perish  by  lost  wars, 
but  by  the  loss  of  that  force  of  resistance  which  is  contained 
only  in  the  pure  blood. 

All  that  is  not  race  in  this  world  is  trash. 

All  world  historical  events,  however,  are  only  the  expres- 
sion of  the  races'  instinct  of  self-preservation  in  its  good  or 
in  its  evil  meaning. 


That  is,  security  is  better  than  freedom.  And  security, 
carried  to  its  ultimate  in  the  'total  mobilization9  of  the  nation, 
is  very  well  analyzed  by  Rauschning.  The  masses  still  cling 
to  the  residue  of  personal  liberty,  of  self-determination,  which 
has  been  left  to  them.  Yet  all  such  things  must  disappear  com- 
pletely before  the  absolute  'security'  which  is  the  inherent  ob- 
jective of  the  Hitlerite  revolution  has  been  reached. 


NATION  AND  RACE  407 

t  The  question  about  the  inner  causes  of  the  overwhelming 
importance  of  Aryanism  can  be  answered  to  the  effect  that 
they  are  to  be  sought  less  in  a  greater  potentiality  of  the 
instinct  of  self-preservation  in  itself,  than  in  the  special 
way  in  which  the  latter  expresses  itself.  The  will  to  live, 
looked  at  subjectively,  is  the  same  everywhere  and  it  is  dif- 
ferent only  in  the  form  of  its  actual  effect.  With  the  most 
original  living  beings  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  does 
not  go  beyond  the  care  for  their  own  'ego.'  Here  the  i ego- 
ism,' as  we  call  this  urge,  goes  so  far  that  it  even  comprises 
time,  so  that  the  moment  itself  claims  everything  and  be- 
grudges everything  to  the  coming  hours.  The  animal  lives 
in  this  state  only  for  itself,  seeks  food  only  whenever  it 
feels  hungry,  and  fights  only  for  its  own  life.  But  as  long  as 
the  instinct  of  self-preservation  expresses  itself  in  this  way, 
every  basis  for  the  formation  of  a  community,  be  it  even 
the  most  primitive  form  of  the  family,  is  lacking.  Even  the 
community  between  male  and  female,  beyond  the  mere 
mating,  requires  a  broadening  of  the  instinct  of  self-preser- 
vation, as  now  the  care  for  their  own  'ego'  extends  also 
to  the  other  part;  sometimes  the  male  seeks  food  for  the 
female,  but  not  infrequently  both  of  them  for  the  young 
ones.  Nearly  always  the  one  steps  in  for  the  protection  of 
the  other,  so  that  here  the  first  though  infinitely  simple 
forms  of  a  readiness  to  sacrifice  present  themselves.  As 
soon  as  this  instinct  extends  beyond  the  limits  of  the  narrow 
frame  of  the  family,  the  prerequisite  for  the  formation  of 
greater  unions  and  finally  formal  States  is  given. 

With  the  lowest  people  of  the  earth  we  find  this  quality 
only  to  a  very  small  extent,  so  that  often  nothing  but  a 
family  is  formed.  The  greater  the  individual's  readiness  to 
subordinate  his  own  purely  personal  interests  is,  the  more 
increases  also  the  ability  for  the  establishment  of  extensive 
communities. 

This  will  to  sacrifice  in  staking  his  personal  labor  and,  if 


408  MEIN  KAMPF 

necessary,  his  own  life  for  others,  is  most  powerfully  de- 
veloped in  the  Aryan.  He  is  greatest,  not  in  his  mental 
capacities  per  se,  but  in  the  extent  to  which  he  is  ready  to 
put  all  his  abilities  at  the  service  of  the  community.  With 
him  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  has  reached  the  most 
noble  form,  because  he  willingly  subjects  his  own  ego  to 
the  life  of  the  community  and,  if  the  hour  should  require  it, 
he  also  sacrifices  it. 

Not  in  the  intellectual  abilities  lies  the  Aryan's  culture- 
creating  and  building  ability.  If  he  had  only  these,  he 
would  always  be  able  to  work  only  destructively,  but  in  no 
case  'organizingly';  for  the  innermost  nature  of  all  organ- 
ization is  based  on  just  the  fact  that  the  individual  re- 
nounces representing  his  personal  opinion  and  his  interests 
and  sacrifices  both  in  favor  of  a  majority  of  people.  Only 

The  Aryan  is  therefore  the  best  soldier.  But  he  will  also  be 
the  best  'worker,'  in  the  sense  adopted  by  Prussian  Socialism, 
which  is  in  theory  a  system  rewarding  men  on  the  basis  of  the 
service  they  render  the  State,  the  community,  as  a  whole. 
Today  the  world  confronts  the  fact  that  German  labor  has, 
by  and  large,  acquiesced  in  this  theory.  Its  former  Marxism  has 
to  a  large  extent  been  shuffled  off;  and  perhaps  it  was  the 
most  fundamental  characteristic  of  that  Marxism  that  it 
based  a  conception  of  class  warfare  on  an  assumption  of  uni- 
versally valid  human  rights.  The  individual  worker  was  held 
entitled  to  certain  inalienable  privileges,  and  for  the  sake  of 
these  the  struggle  against  a  society  that  refused  to  grant  them 
was  imperative.  But  just  because  Marxism  respected  human 
rights  —  however  secularistic  its  understanding  of  them 
may  have  been  —  its  revolutionary  initiative  was  necessarily 
lamed.  The  shock  which  the  best  German  Socialists  felt 
when  they  confronted  the  Bolshevist  regime  was  the  result 
of  their  feeling  that  Lenin  had  betrayed  the  fundamental 
creed  of  Marxism.  He  had  sold  the  faith  in  order  to  dominate. 
The  Third  Reich  began  by  depriving  the  German  worker  of 


NATION  AND  RACE  409 

by  way  of  the  general  community  is  his  share  returned  to 
him.  Now,  for  instance,  he  no  longer  works  directly  for 
himself,  but  with  his  activity  he  joins  in  the  frame  of  the 
community,  not  only  for  his  own  advantage,  but  for  that  of 
all.  The  most  wonderful  explanation  of  this  disposition  is 
offered  by  his  word  'work/  by  which  he  does  not  mean  an 
activity  for  gaining  his  living,  but  only  a  creative  toil  that 
does  not  contradict  the  interests  of  the  community.  In  the 
other  case  he  calls  the  human  activity,  in  so  far  as  it  does 
not  serve  the  instinct  of  self-preservation  without  consid- 
eration for  the  welfare  of  the  contemporary  world,  by  the 
words  theft,  usury,  robbery,  burglary,  etc. 

This  disposition  now,  which  causes  the  individual's  ego 
to  step  back  in  the  face  of  the  preservation  of  the  commun- 
ity, is  really  the  first  prerequisite  for  any  truly  human  cul- 
ture. Only